The third series of Peaky Blinders has just kicked off with the sensational wedding of Birmingham gangster Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), but his bride was kept a huge secret from fans.
So it was quite a shock to see the bride’s veil lifted at the altar to reveal Tommy was marrying Grace Burgess, the Irish former barmaid who worked undercover for the police. Here, Annabelle Wallis, who’s played Grace Burgess since the first series, reveals more about Grace’s shock return…
“As I walked down the aisle to film that scene, I was trying very hard not to trip over myself as my views was obscured by the huge veil,” laughed Annabelle. “It was amazing and incredible that Grace was chosen to be Tommy’s bride. I was convinced from when Tommy and Grace first met they’d end up husband and wife. It was wonderful and just what Peaky Blinders fans would have wanted. Grace is Tommy’s emotional pivot.
“They gave Grace a huge veil for the wedding, not only because it helped obscure my face and keep Grace’s identity a secret until the reveal, but also it’s accurate because A Gypsy-style wedding back then would have had a large veil over the bride’s face just like it.
“CIllian, of course, knew Grace was going to be Tommy’s bride long before I did, though I kept badgering him to find out! It was a relief and exciting when I found out Grace was his bride.”
Tommy and Grace are set to have an eventful journey in this six-part series, which Paddy Considine will join as a new nemesis, Father Hughes (first appears in episode two), and there’s also the return of Tom Hardy as Alfie Solomons later on.
“Going forward they have a very complex relationship so it’ll be very interesting to see where they head,” said Annabelle, who’s dating Coldplay singer Chris Martin. “At the core of it is love and a very strong bond, but I think they mirror each other in their ambitions, complexities and just the fact that they’re flawed human beings.
“As much as Grace may think she’s going to settle into married life, I don’t think that’s her truth and her own ambition is going to definitely come to the surface at some point, and it’s going to make for some interesting struggles in this very ‘alpha’ relationship. She has an ego as much as Tommy does. You never lose that sense of the unknown about her throughout their marriage. She could at any moment match him with her fire.
“So it’s all going to be very exciting, and remind all viewers of those heated moments in relationships. Grace has that fiery Irish side to her – she’s killed two people already, let’s not forget. Although, of course, she’s been very groomed and well behaved this first episode. I love how she is though, and there’s plenty more to come. She’s many shades of grey… So expect the unexpected.”
*Peaky Blinders continues on BBC2 every Thursday from 9pm