As many around the world may know, Helen McCrory, aged 52, died yesterday from cancer. While I didn’t know her, and she certainly didn’t know me, there are several things that she taught me.
While one might debate that roles that an actor/actress takes aren’t really them, it’s a fact that roles always affect the actor/actress on a personal level. That’s just how it is — when you have to cancel reality and dive into being someone else, it takes a toll on you: you always take something from it/them. So while what I heard and saw might be scripted words and actions, it was Helen McCrory who brought the life to them.
In the three seasons of “Peaky Blinders” that I have watched, there are so many things that I have learned about life, especially from “Polly Gray”.
So this is a thank you to the woman who brought the spirit to the character — thank you for helping me heal from my sexual exploitation, my adoption, my seeming inability to love. You have taught me to stand up after being pushed to the ground: to dust off my shoulders and get back up again. You taught me to love, to live. That things can turn out well again after being hurt: that things will be alright. That I will be alright. You showed me that the love of a mother will always be with her child, despite the past and past decisions/events.
You have inspired me, truly, in so many aspects of life. I’m counting down the days until I can pay a true tribute using ink and my own skin, because to me, you have taught me. One might say that their parents, siblings, or teachers taught them most in life; for me, it’s those I admire and see most — this has meant that musicians, writers, and actors have taught me most: the artists.
And you were an art, a different, fearless, blazing one. Thank you for showing me strength, joy, and trust — hope, courage. And though it might be strange to say, I love you. Rest in peace, knowing that you have touched many, and the world is better because of you.
To Helen McCrory, the best of us all. “I feel as though my life is bathed in golden sunlight. And the really wonderful thing is that I know it.”