Kate Phillips on her Peaky Blinders' character Linda Shelby: 'She's had to re-evaluate her tactics'

How is Linda and Arthur’s relationship tested this year?

Linda and Arthur had very opposing outlooks on life. Having said that, evidently they see something in each other that they need. Arthur reaches out to Linda for some sort of salvation. I’ve realised that it might be the darker side of Arthur that appeals to Linda. This year, being thrust back into Small Heath means that their relationship is being tested. Everything that they’ve built up together in their country house has been blown apart and they have to reassess in a way what works for the both of them. It’s a tense time.

Is Linda adapting to the Peaky Blinder way of life as a means of survival?

Linda has had to re-evaluate her tactics. No matter how much she tries to reform Arthur, she must realise that she has to adapt if she wants to keep him. As much as she’d like to resist, she needs to follow Tommy’s lead in order to stay alive. In the end she comes to realise, ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ and as a result has to become a bit of a Peaky herself.

Do you have a favourite filming location on this series?

We’ve come from Small Heath, which I’ve not spent very much time at because last series Linda wasn’t there at all. We’ve also spent time at Tommy’s house, Arrow House, which is shot at Arley Hall and has a completely different atmosphere about it this time around. Every circumstance is completely different. Costume, design and props all come together to create such a great atmosphere for us to film in. For Linda, this is a real moment of change in both her appearance and attitude, so it’s been amazing to be a part of the series.

Did you enjoy working with the costume department?

Alison is such a talented designer, along with Robert, her assistant. I trust them immensely. I’ve taken Alison’s lead and been very inspired by what costumes she dresses Linda in. Linda’s style completely changes from episode one to six in this series.

What moments are you particularly excited about seeing unfold on screen when the series airs?

I’m looking forward to seeing how Linda and Arthur’s journey cuts together. The boxing scene is something I can’t wait to see. There are a lot of narratives woven together with lots of twists and turns. It’s been a real opportunity for me to loosen up in the character. 

Peaky Blinders IV returns tonight, November 15 at 9pm on BBC Two 

November 15, 2017 1:57pm by BBC TWO  

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