By Ellie Iorizzo, Senior Entertainment Reporter PA
Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight said Spider-Man actor Tom Holland can finally join the ranks of the crime gang – after he was rejected following an early audition.
Knight, 62, was joined by stars of the BBC One series including Finn Cole, who plays Michael Gray, and Kate Phillips, who plays Linda Shelby, at the premiere of the show’s final season at Cineworld in Birmingham on Thursday evening.
The show, which returns for its last series on Sunday, follows the lives of the notorious Shelby family, a gang rising to prominence in post-First World War Birmingham.
In a recent interview with LADbible, Spider-Man star Holland, 25, said: “I actually auditioned for Peaky Blinders and I did not get the part.”
Speaking to the PA news agency, Knight said: “It must have been quite a big role he was auditioning for but if he wants to come back for the film, we’ll have him.”
Cole, who plays actor Cillian Murphy’s cousin in the show, said he auditioned for Spider-Man, adding: “You win some, you lose some, I suppose.”
Cole told PA: “For an actor, it has been a fantastic experience being able to go through all those storylines.
“It has been 10 years since I started this. I was only 18 when I started – I was just a little baby, and now I’m an adult and making my own moves in the Peaky world.
“I’ve had the luxury of working with these fantastic actors over the years, I have learnt so much, and I will take that with me for the rest of my career, hopefully.”
Stars attending the premiere included Sophie Rundle, who plays Ada Shelby; Harry Kirton, who stars as Finn Shelby; and Natasha O’Keeffe, who plays Lizzie Stark.
Speaking from the red carpet, Phillips, 32, who plays the ex-wife of Arthur Shelby, added: “When you come back to film another series, it is like coming back into the family hub. I’ll miss that – sharing all of those fun times.”
Although it is the final small screen series of Peaky Blinders, Knight has spoken previously about continuing the Shelby family’s story, with a film – due to be shot in Birmingham – in the works.
Knight told PA: “It’s amazing to be in Brum and to get this reaction, knowing that it is getting this reaction all over the world. It makes Birmingham the capital of Peaky Blinders, which is great.”
Helen McCrory, who starred in the hit show since it began in 2013 as the infamous Polly Gray, died from cancer last April aged 52.
And Knight said: “I think it is like when anybody who has lost a member of their family – they’re gone, but their opinion stays in the house.
“In other words, when something happens you still think, ‘What would they have thought about this? What would their opinion have been of this?’ and I have tried to keep that with Polly so that the family still thinks, ‘What would Polly have done?’ which is what I think happens with people.”
Actors Murphy, Tom Hardy, Paul Anderson and Stephen Graham were not present at the premiere.