Peaky Blinders Star Cillian Murphy In This Season's Finest Coats

The actor cuts a dash in outerwear from Burberry, Sandro and more

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By the time the new series of Peaky Blinders aired on BBC Two last week, the show's star, Irish actor Cillian Murphy, had turned 40, an occasion, in anyone's life, for taking stock. "I feel OK with it," he says, "I'm not one for looking back. I'm more one for the future. I certainly don't feel sad."

That said, he's been making some adjustments. He's putting down new roots by moving back to Dublin with his family — two sons, aged eight and ten, and his wife, the artist Yvonne McGuinness — after 15 years of living in London. "I think you reach a certain point in your life when you think, 'Is this it?' I love London, and will love coming back here, but I've done my time."

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Murphy has spent half his life acting on stage and screen, since making his professional acting debut in Enda Walsh's coming-of-age play Disco Pigs, in 1996. That year was packed with Murphy milestones: the band he was in declined a five-album deal, which turned his focus to acting and ultimately led to 28 Days Later, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Inception and his role as the Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan's Batman films, and he met his wife, who saw him strum for The Sons of Mr Greengenes, the band that could've been. 

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"It wasn't quite 'falling in love from the crowd'," he says. "She was in art school, like me, and she was involved with the club where we played that night."

Music is still in his blood. Peaky Blinders, despite being a crime drama set primarily in interwar Birmingham, has a contemporary soundtrack — PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Arctic Monkeys — that contains some tracks suggested by the show's lead. He makes playlists to get himself into the zone to play all his characters, and is as passionate about new bands as he ever was.

"A recommendation for you?" he says, scrolling through his iPhone, "Honestly… there's too much… no… I listen to so much music that I can't recall… the names. I promise I'm not just saying this — I really do." Defeated by the infinite choice of song, he puts the phone down, looks up and says, "I would like to go on record saying [Irish guitar player] Cian Nugent's new album is fantastic." It's a fine choice.

As Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders, Murphy's powers of persuasion are Corleone-esque. He can convince out of character, too. He got a part in High-Rise director Ben Wheatley's Scorsese-produced action movie Free Fire, out in the autumn, he says, "because I was such a fan of Ben. I tracked him down, we had beers and I said, 'I have to do one of your films.'" You ignore Cillian Murphy at your peril.

Navy wool coat £2,525; green cotton polo shirt, £435; navy cotton chinos, £315; black calfskin monk-strap shoes, £550, all by Lanvin. Black Ray-Ban sunglasses, Murphy's own
Cinnamon cotton trench coat £950; navy suede jacket £1,250; navy silk pocket square £60; navy cotton slim-fit chinos, £195, all by Private White VC
Beige/ black/white camel wool coat £1,740; red/white striped silk-knit jumper, £410; blue cotton stretch skinny trousers, £320 all by Gucci. Black Ray-Ban sunglasses, Murphy's own
Powder pink cupro double-breasted trench coat; £1,550; pale blue stretch viscose T-shirt, £180, both by Giorgio Armani.
Stone cotton trench coat, £610; tan suede jacket, £630; indigo cotton shirt, £155, navy cotton chinos, £175; red leather brogues, £290, all by Sandro. Ray-Ban sunglasses, Cillian Murphy's own