Peaky Blinders: Who is Luca Changretta? Is Changretta based on a real gangster?

All five seasons of Peaky Blinders are streaming on Netflix now. The latest series saw Tommy Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy) go head to head with British politician Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin). However, in seasons three and four, the Peaky Blinders were dealing with an Italian-American enemy, known as the Changretta Family. has everything you need to know.

Who is Luca Changretta? Is he based on a real gangster?

In Peaky Blinders, Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody) is the main villain of season four.

The Italian-American crime boss was the oldest son of Vincente Changretta (Kenneth Colley), a New York crime boss who had a vendetta against the Shelby’s in season three.

Luca was the leader of the Changtetta mob in New York, who had an intense rivalry with Chicago’s Al Capone, as both men were working in the liquor business during the probation era.

Luca Changretta and his gang are entirely fictional and come from the mind of Peaky Blinders creator Stephen Knight.

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However, the Changretta mafia is based on gangs operating in New York during the 1920s.

Speaking to GQ, Knight explained the original between Luca and the Changretta crime family.

He said: “And in truth and in reality, the British gangsters — especially Birmingham gangsters amazingly — did have very strong connections with Chicago gangsters.”

Knight also explained how a lot of research was carried out to create the character of Luca Changretta.

He said: “We [Adrien Brody and Stephen Knight] met in Los Angeles to talk about who this person is, and I was keen that the character had a Sicilian-New York accent.

“Of course, we find out that the Sicilian-New York accent, our people have done their research, so The Godfather is full of people with Sicilian-New York accents, but the accent that we received, that gangster accent is accurate.

“Adrien did his research, he did the research about how he would look, about the hat, about the clothes, about the superstitions — some great stuff about hats on beds being bad luck, and all of this stuff that we talked about found its way into the character.”

In Peaky Blinders, Luca’s father, Vincente and his brother, Angel (Pedro Caxade) had been killed by the Shelby family in retaliation for Grace’s (Annabelle Wallis) murder. However, in 1925, Luca returned to avenge their deaths.

In episode one of the fourth series, Luca and his gang successfully killed one Peaky Blinder.

Michael (Finn Cole) and John (Joe Cole) were ambushed outside John’s home on Christmas Day and sadly John did not survive his wounds.

After meeting Tommy Shelby in episode two, the pair agreed to fight the war between them with honour, no children were to be harmed and no police were to be used. Something which Thomas would later break.

To take out Luca and his gang, Tommy enlisted the help of Aberama Gold (Aidan Gillen).

Luca approached Polly Gray (Helen McCrory) and struck a deal with her regarding the fate of her and her family.

They agreed that Polly would sacrifice Tommy in exchange for sparing Arthur (Paul Anderson), Michael and Finn’s lives.

However, this was the plan of the Polly and Tommy all along, to lure Luca into a trap.

They also faked the death of Arthur (Paul Anderson), who had been attacked by one of Luca’s men and was believed to be dead.

In the end, Luca and his men were killed by the Shelby family, with Arthur delivering the final shot in honour of his deceased brother John.

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Who played Luca Changretta in Peaky Blinders?

Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody starred in Peaky Blinders season four.

The American actor and producer are best known for playing Władysław Szpilman in The Pianist.

For his performance in The Pianist, he won the Best Actor Academy Award at age 29, the youngest actor to win the award ever.

Brody has also starred in three of Wes Anderson’s films, including The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Grand Budapest Hotel.


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Alongside Peaky Blinders, TV series fans may recognise Brody from Breakthrough, Houdini, and Split Screen.

Reflecting on playing Luca, Brody told the BBC: “It’s a dream role for me in a lot of ways. I’m really grateful, Steve [show creator Steven Knight] said he had me in mind to play this role.

“Interestingly, I’ve always found it odd that I haven’t had an opportunity to quite play this character in my relatively lengthy career.

“It leaves me wanting a bit more but it’s really fun to embrace. That’s the beauty of acting and the process that even if you’re playing a bad person, there’s an ability to have playfulness with a world that is vastly entertaining to watch but also to embody.”

Peaky Blinders is streaming on Netflix now

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