The actress – who stars as Polly Gray, the aunt of Cillian Murphy’s character Tommy Shelby – has warned fans to expect “disturbing” scenes when the hit BBC drama returns for a fifth series later this month.
Of the first episode, which jumps forward in time to a period of unrest in British politics, Helen told the Press Association: “It is very violent and it’s really horrible and you should look away.
“I’ve only seen episode one, and there’s a whole bit… We saw the screening in Birmingham, for fans who managed to get lottery tickets.”
She continued: “I look away from the screen. I, as Helen, can’t watch it. I think it’s disgusting, gratuitous violence. It is… no, not gratuitous – disgustingly violent.
“But it is. And it should be. I think it’s much more disturbing than somebody slashes somebody’s face or somebody shoots somebody and it’s all just the end of it.”
Helen went on to explain that Peaky Blinders shows how violent people cannot escape the consequences of their actions.
She said: “It should be horrifying and you should have the people who are responsible for the violence unable to self-medicate or having mental health problems, or all the things that do happen to people, if you kill other people.
“Because it is not a natural state of affairs. And anybody who looks at the violence of Peaky Blinders and thinks: ‘That exactly is what I want to do’. I mean, sick.”
Helen’s comments came as a dramatic new picture was released to tease the upcoming series.
The image shows Tommy Shelby brooding over a gun, while sitting at a table with his head in his hand.
The Bafta-winning series, which also stars the likes of Tom Hardy, Sam Neill and Paul Anderson, returns to BBC One at 9pm on Sunday August 25.