Here's What Actors Are Actually Smoking On Screen – And We're In Disbelief

Time for some more movie magic.

If you’ve ever sat through an episode of Peaky Blinders, you might find yourself wondering how the heck Cillian Murphy didn’t destroy his lungs playing the infamous Thomas Shelby.

Yup, there’s rarely a scene where the titular character isn’t puffing on a cigarette – so, what’s actually going on? Are they just destroying packets of cigarettes a la Dot Cotton actress June Brown?

Well, one TikToker has shared what our fave celebs are actually smoking – and it turns out things are far more herbal.

No, not that type of herb, before you get excited.

Director David Ma (@davidwma) often shares the truth behind Hollywood trickery and in a video which has amassed a whopping 2.2 million likes, the film expert has revealed what stars are smoking.


Reply to @user5710632601 Today’s FilmTok lesson: Prop Cigarettes #filmtok #behindthescenes #learnontiktok #movieprops #film

♬ Sunny Day - Ted Fresco

David explained: “Most of the time, when you see actors smoking on screen we use something called prop cigarettes. They’re herbal cigarettes that are tobacco and nicotine and additive-free.”

Well, that explains why we’ve not got hundreds of actors out there with hacking coughs.

“They also look quite real in an actor’s fingers,” David added, sharing that Jon Hamm went through packs of these while filming Mad Men.

“When you cut one open you’ll notice there isn’t tobacco inside, it looks more like herb - not that ’erb - but you know, rose petal, clover and tea leaves.”

But about smoke? According to David this tends to be added in post-production, usually with CGI.

And as for Cillian? Turns out he went through a whopping 3000 of the fake herbal cigarettes while portraying Tommy Shelby.


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