As much as Peaky Blinders fans—myself included—like to drool over Cillian Murphy’s character, Tommy Shelby’s Birmingham lilt, in real life, the actor is a proud Irishman, and his accent reflects the same. So you can imagine Murphy’s surprise (and disapproval) when he realised that after living in London for 14 years, his two sons, Malachy and Aran, were beginning to speak in a posh English accent.
Speaking to the Armchair Expert podcast in April 2022, the actor revealed he took the decision back in 2015, “We were in London for 14 years, both our kids were born there and we only came back to Dublin in 2015. It’s kind of an Irish story to move away, do your thing and come home, that seems to be a common narrative for Irish people.”
Murphy continued, “And then we wanted the kids to be Irish. They were sort of at that age where they were pre-teens, they had very posh English accents, and I wasn’t appreciating that too much so we decided to come back.”
While on the podcast, the star was also asked if he could picture himself living in a place like Los Angeles, to which he admitted he’s happy to hit the West coast more as a visitor rather than live there permanently. “I love visiting and I love the food and I do love the weather,” he said. “I don’t know, I just feel European, I just feel Irish. I’d feel like a bit of an interloper if I lived in California, I couldn’t envisage living there permanently.”
We’re finding it hard to imagine Murphy living in sunny California too if we’re being honest, and we’re still not sure what we did to deserve being blessed by his and his family’s presence in London for so long either.
Now happily back in Dublin—much to my dismay—Murphy said that he’s enjoyed watching his children grow up, and shared that because of their two-year age gap, they’re more like great friends than brothers. “My lads definitely kicked the shit out of each other quite often when they were younger but that’s boys. They’re great pals,” the actor told Armchair Expert.
As sad as we are that our chances of bumping into Tommy Shelby in real life are slimming down, we hope that the actor being back in Dublin also helps him avoid getting papped too much. Speaking to The Guardian at the beginning of the year, Murphy commented, “I really don’t go out much, and people are so underwhelmed when they encounter me, so I’m very happy with that. And I’m always happy to chat.”
“What I don’t like is people surreptitiously taking photographs, which someone said is like the amateur Stasi. It’s so fucking weird. I’ve been sat on the tube and people have started filming me. I don’t want to be like, ‘poor fucking celebrities’ but I think this thing of having cameras everywhere is something we need to sort out,” he explained, concluding, “Or maybe I’m just old.”