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Words of encouragement from Cillian Murphy top off "amazing" week for young Peaky Blinders extra


By Jonathan Clark

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WORDS of encouragement from actor Cillian Murphy topped off an "amazing" week on the Peaky Blinders set for a local schoolgirl.

Sophie McDonnell (12), from Macduff, was an extra for the hit TV show, which was filming in Portsoy for five days at the start of February.

Sophie McDonnell (12), from Banff Academy, was on set as an extra in Peaky Blinders. She plays a young French/Canadian girl from the island of Miquelon.
Sophie McDonnell (12), from Banff Academy, was on set as an extra in Peaky Blinders. She plays a young French/Canadian girl from the island of Miquelon.

The first year Banff Academy pupil played a French-Canadian girl from Miquelon, where some of the season's sixth show will be set.

And Cillian Murphy, who plays Tommy Shelby in the lead role, had some kind words for the youngster on set.

"I only knew one of the actors and that was Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy)," Sophie said.

"He spoke to me on the first day and wished me good luck and said 'I hope you do well'.

"The second day he just said hello when he was coming off set."

The overall experience is something that Sophie won't forget any time soon – and, despite the long hours, she has a thirst for more.

Sophie McDonnell on the Peaky Blinders set... Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Sophie McDonnell on the Peaky Blinders set... Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Sophie McDonnell on the Peaky Blinders set... Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Sophie McDonnell on the Peaky Blinders set... Picture: Daniel Forsyth

She added: "It was amazing, it was so fun and I just loved it.

"The best part was probably filming the scenes and getting ready.

"I was a bit nervous because there were so many people, it was nerve-racking but when it got going it was fun.

"When you are dressed and ready to go you have to wait a long while but it is worth it.

"I really hope I can do something like this again."

Sophie McDonnell (12), from Banff Academy, was on set as an extra in Peaky Blinders. She plays a young French/Canadian girl from the island of Miquelon.
Sophie McDonnell (12), from Banff Academy, was on set as an extra in Peaky Blinders. She plays a young French/Canadian girl from the island of Miquelon.

Sophie's family, and especially granny Gill Ritchie, who she was staying with during filming, are over the moon for her.

Gill said: "I was awful proud of her, she handled it well, took it all in her stride and didn't get worked up.

"I was just absolutely amazed and delighted with how well everyone treated the kids.

"All of the staff, from those doing the Covid tests to make up and actors – everybody was excellent."

Sophie had to get two Covid-19 tests – which she said were little hassle – and was involved for two days of filming.

She is hoping to be seen in two of the show's scenes when it is released in 2022.


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