Martin Compston auditioned for Peaky Blinders’ Tommy Shelby reveals why he did not get the role | Business Upturn

Martin Compston auditioned for Peaky Blinders’ Tommy Shelby reveals why he did not get the role

Scottish actor claims to have chosen the same part as the incredibly skilled Irishman.


In an interview, Martin Compston admitted that he auditioned for the part of Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders. The 38-year-old Line of Duty actor believed he would have a chance to land the part of the Brummie crime leader in the series, but Irish actor Cillian Murphy finally won out.

The actor who plays Detective Inspector Steve Arnott and is from Greenock, Compston, admits he just wasn’t very good at a Brummie accent. The 38-year-old co-host of the podcast The Restless Natives with Gordon Smart admitted: “I genuinely couldn’t just put on a Brummie accent now, I’m not good at accents. In fact, I auditioned for Peaky Blinders.”

He said that he found it difficult to perform a Birmingham accent appropriate for the part, so he ‘didn’t follow up’ after the audition. He said, “I went for Tommy Shelby, thought I nailed the f***** thing and Jed Mercurio who writes Line of Duty, he’s a Brummie so he recorded my lines for me and it was one of those moments where I was like, ‘I’ve got a shout’ and then my agent goes ‘Cillian Murphy’s going for it.’ So you just know you don’t ever follow up again ever.”

The Evening News revealed earlier this week that Compston’s new thriller from Edinburgh-based Amazon Prime has risen to the top of the streaming service’s charts in both the UK and the US.

The Rig, which was filmed primarily at FirstStage Studios on Bath Road in Leith, was the most watched show on Amazon Prime over the weekend in the UK, as well as in the United States, Germany, and a number of other nations.

The six-part series, which also features Iain Glen from Game of Thrones, tells the tale of a Scottish oil rig in the North Sea that is cut off from the outside world and the coastline owing to earthquakes.

Compston recently starred alongside Tony Curran and Ashley Jensen in BBC’s Mayflies.