In the third season of Peaky Blinders, fans of the show were introduced to May Fitz Carleton (Charlotte Riley), a character that would have an enormous impact on the story of Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy). She may have appeared infrequently in Peaky Blinders, but that only made fans more eager to know more about her. Here’s everything you need to know about this character and actress Charlotte Riley. Charlotte Riley as May Fitz Carleton in Peaky Blinders
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Who is Charlotte Riley?
Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Lottie Riley was born on March 16, 1982 in Winchester, Hampshire, England. She is an English actress who is best known for her role of Natasha Rostova on BBC’s period drama series War & Peace (2016). She portrayed Theodosia Burr Alston in HBO’s award-winning miniseries, John Adams (2008) and Mercy Croft/Cordelia Naismith Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller in Ron Howard’s 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. In January 2017 she made her American television debut as Lady Sinderby opposite Hugh Bonneville and Jason Watkins on Downton Abbey. Her upcoming projects include season 2 of Tin Star and season 6 of Peaky Blinders.
Who is May?
Fans of ‘Peaky Blinders’ will know that May is one of two main love interests for Tommy Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy. The other being Grace Burgess, portrayed by Annabelle Wallis. In season three, their relationship ended and left fans wanting more from a character we’d come to know so well over two seasons. It also left us asking who was May? So, who is she?
I have just started to watch season 1 of Peaky Blinders, a new show on BBC. I believe Charlotte Riley is an amazing actress that portrays her character with complete ease. This scene specifically has had me wanting more from her character. The intensity in which she asks for answers from Tommy Shelby is astonishing. The way that she can portray dominance, nervousness and uncertainty all at once is truly fantastic! As a writer, it really makes me want to capture these same emotions and thoughts into words when writing my own stories.
Production comparison (costume, hair, makeup)
The character of May is from a much more humble and reserved social class than her husband, so her costume must reflect that. As she’s married to a butcher, it’s important that she doesn’t look out of place at work—May dresses in plain skirts and blouses paired with aprons (and sometimes gloves) when she goes to her husband’s shop. In contrast, when it comes time for a night out on the town, she wears long dresses and bows or ribbons in her hair. The differences between how May looks while working and while going out show how women had different ways of presenting themselves depending on their social status.
How did she do it?
Charlotte Riley, is a British actress, who has recently made headlines after she was married to former 1D band member Louis Tomlinson. Before her marriage to Tomlinson, Charlotte had a very successful career and has starred alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names. She started off on stage and received high praise for her role in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which won her rave reviews. She then moved onto movies, with one of her most notable roles being Tilda Swinton’s younger sister in I Am Love (2009). Charlotte continues to have a successful acting career; she recently starred as Clara Darcy in The Alienist and May Carleton in Peaky Blinders Season 4. We are looking forward to seeing what else she brings us!
Additional casting decision insights
Helen McCrory has been a fan favorite since she played Polly Gray on Peaky Blinders, but for season 3, fans were not happy that her character was killed off. However, showrunner Steven Knight says there is still hope for Polly in another timeline. I think one of my big dilemmas is I’ve got so many good actors, Knight said in an interview with Esquire . He added that there’s always a possibility McCrory could return to play another role at some point down the line: You can never say never on this show because people get knocked off all the time. Despite its success and critical acclaim, Knight claims he doesn’t feel pressure when it comes to writing new seasons of peaky Blinders.
Why did Charlotte Riley leave Peaky Blinders?
On 22 November 2014, BBC announced that Riley would be leaving Peaky Blinders after its second series. Series creator Steven Knight stated: We will miss her enormously, she has done such a wonderful job in bringing May to life on screen. Knight later added: May’s departure provides a dramatic ending and real closure for her character. We know that people have enjoyed seeing Charlotte on screen but it is time for her to move on and we wish her all of the best for future projects. Riley commented: I have had an amazing two years playing Mrs.Maudsley [sic] and exploring so many things about myself through her character.
Does may love Tommy?
The question on many people’s minds is whether or not Tommy and May will end up together. The teaser for episode 3 shows a romantic meeting between Tommy and his new love interest, Linda, played by Mieke Lindh. Though it’s been implied that May was never officially Tommy’s wife, they did have a sort of relationship—Tommy once said We had something good here…Something strong. Something I haven’t had since with anybody else…May was mine. It would be surprising if she suddenly forgave him for killing her father and stood idly by while he moved on to another woman so quickly after their encounter at Lang’s farm. But who knows?
Is May Carleton married?
This year is all about emerging talent, so here’s a prediction that you may not have heard of. Charlotte Riley is most well known for playing Mark Gatiss’s wife Julia on Sherlock but it’s her role as May Carleton in BBC 2 drama Peaky Blinders that has really got tongues wagging. Playing opposite Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill, she was one of series two highlights. Watch out for her at awards time next year!
Is Charlotte Riley in season 6 of Peaky Blinders?
The answer is yes. The British actress portrays May Carleton, Tommy Shelby’s new love interest. Some have theorized that she might be working undercover for Winston Churchill, but what we do know for sure is that she’s attractive and ready to make things interesting. But who exactly is May? And how does Charlotte Riley play her onscreen? We’re here to answer both of those questions with an in-depth character breakdown and video clips of Charlotte at work.