Five minutes with Annabelle Wallis

Star of BBC’s Peaky Blinders

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Annabelle Wallis stars alongside Cillian Murphy in BBC drama Peaky Blinders. Read on for Annabelle’s insight into the show and her take on brilliant boxsets, Twitter and high street shopping.
Convince us we should watch Peaky Blinders.
It’s fast-paced, sexy, bold, brave and strong. It turns the standard formula for making period drama on its head and matches epic cinema pieces from the likes of Scorsese and Kubrick.
Describe your character, Grace.
Grace is seriously brave and enigmatic. She’s surviving in a man’s world, creating a path for herself at a very precarious time. She’s like women I know, very complex and emotional; the alpha in many ways and many situations.
What’s your boxset obsession?
I love Breaking Bad and the fact that my friend Aaron Paul is in it makes it all the more special to watch. I really love House of Cards with Kevin Spacey, The Fall and Top of the Lake. Cillian said it best: what’s so great about TV is that you get the anti-hero who becomes the hero and you have time to understand these flawed characters. Another friend of mine was equating it to going from black and white film to colour. The standard of TV is just so good.
Cillian Murphy is awesome. Discuss.
He’s so humble and kind and unassuming. He does his job for all the right reasons - pure love and passion for the work. Plus, he’s great company. He has a penchant for cheesy jokes; he’d tell the worst jokes in the world on set but we’d laugh our heads off!
You’re a period drama pro. Do you like the costumes?
They’re amazing, it’s like playing dress-up every day. The opulence and grandeur of a lot of period drama really helps you get into character and appreciate the luxury of good quality. If you’re fashion-minded in any way, you can’t help but be incredibly inspired and apply elements to your own style. You also learn what looks good on screen and on you. I loved the Sixties Pan Am costumes – nipped waists, pencil skirts, celebrating femininity.
What fashion brands do you buy?
You can’t compete with Zara! I like Cos and Topshop, too. I also love young designers like JW Anderson, Peter Pilotto, Roksanda Ilincic and Georgia Harding. Carven has beautiful things at the moment and I always return to the classics like Valentino and Versace.
Your dream character?
I like strong women. I’m interested in Patti Smith and women who were iconic in a very hedonistic way. I like the idea of a bit of a neurotic woman on edge – like the character in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. I can relate to that!
Who do you follow on Twitter?
I love Stephen Fry. His tweets are witty, poignant and intelligent. I’m obsessed with Jemima Khan, too. She’s so glamorous, writes beautifully and is passionate about whatever subject she’s putting her time into – she’s a role model like that. For a while I was also into Frankie Boyle because I have a weird dark humour, but he goes a little too far!
Peaky Blinders is on BBC2 at 9pm on Thursdays. Catch up on BBC iPlayer
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