Peaky Blinders star Adrien Brody: I grew up in Queens so I'm no stranger to organised crime!

Peaky Blinders Wednesday 29th November
(Image credit: Matt Squire)

The Hollywood star tells us about starring as a New York mafia boss in the fourth series of Peaky Blinders...

WOTV talks to Adrien Brody about his role in the fourth series of Peaky Blinders...

Hollywood star Adrien Brody is already threatening to steal the show with his menacing portrayal of Luca Changretta in series four of Peaky Blinders, which continues on Wednesday evening on BBC2 at 9pm.

The New York mafia boss has come to Birmingham to get revenge for the death of his father and following a nerve-jangling face off with Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) at the end of last week’s episode, it’s safe to say the Peaky Blinders have finally met their match…

"The battle lines have been drawn," says Adrien, who became the youngest man to win a Best Actor Academy Award for his leading role in 2002 film, The Pianist. "They are very alike because they are both ruthless men who are driven by family and power. But there’s a respect as well because they both know how dangerous the other one is. Cillian’s a fantastic actor so when you add all those things together, you’re really cooking on gas."

Adrien Brody tells us more about playing Luca in Peaky Blinders series four…

WOTV: Is it true that Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight created the role of Luca Changretta with you in mind?

Adrien Brody: "Yes that’s what I heard! It’s a really lovely thing when someone as talented as Steven considers you for his show so early on. It’s a very nice thing to hear as an actor, but it doesn’t happen very often. I’m from New York, but I’m not necessarily a prototype mafia figure, so it’s a great honour."

WOTV: Peaky Blinders has big following in US, were you a fan?

AB: "I’d seen it and I liked the show very much, but I became more immersed in it when the possibility of coming on board came about. That’s when I realized just how special it is."

WOTV: Luca and Tommy have some great scenes together, what else can you tell us about their relationship?

AB: "Well, you wont get any spoilers about the rest of the series from me! But I think they’re both similar as they’ve both enjoyed the freedoms that come if you are unscrupulous and ambitious during the 1920s, a time when gangsters were all powerful. While Tommy Shelby started from nowhere and created his own empire, Luca was born into it and is the product of the generations that have come before. He’s a proud Italian American who believes in honour and loves his family."

Luca Changretta comes face to face with Aunt Polly

Luca Changretta comes face to face with Aunt Polly

WOTV: Luca has some pretty stylish suits doesn’t he?

AB: "Yeah he really does. Amazing hats as well. It’s funny because everyone smoked back then, but I felt it would be interesting to incorporate chewing gum, a toothpick or a match instead of a cigarette, to show a bit of Luca’s discipline. I think it adds to his menace."

WOTV: The series was filmed in Liverpool and Manchester, how did you find working in those cities?

AB: "Manchester is very exciting, it’s a vibrant town and the people are so welcoming. Liverpool was also very real and quite charming. I’m primarily an actor, but I also do a lot of painting and I was taken aback by the amount of beautiful lofts and warehouses in both cities, they would make fantastic painting studios. In New York all the places like that are bought up, so I did consider staying for a bit longer. It did seem to rain a lot and I spent a lot of time in ‘wellies’ but if that’s the worst then I could get used to it."

WOTV: The Peaky Blinders all have Birmingham accents, did you pick up any Brummie slang?

AB: "A little bit. There was a lot of joking around about it, which was fun to watch them slip into their Birmingham dialect, but I'm an Americani in the show so I didn't get involved too much."

WOTV: Were you aware of gang culture while you were growing up in New York?

AB: "I grew up in Queens, a neighbourhood where I knew many people who were associated with organised and unorganised crime. It’s a part of growing up in New York City, there was a large Italian American community and it's just par for the course. But it's wonderful ammunition now that I’m an actor – put it that way. I have many experiences to draw on that you might think are far-fetched and I’m grateful for that."

WOTV: Is there room for Luca in series five?

AB: "Well anything’s possible, but it’s not up to me!"

Peaky Blinders continues on Wednesday at 9pm on BBC2

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.