Cillian Murphy

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Cillian Murphy in 2024

Cillian Murphy (born 25 May 1976) is an Irish actor. He made his professional debut in Enda Walsh's 1996 play Disco Pigs, a role he later reprised in the 2001 screen adaptation. Murphy began his collaboration with filmmaker Christopher Nolan in 2005, playing the Scarecrow in The Dark Knight trilogy (2005–2012) as well as appearing in Inception (2010) and Dunkirk (2017). He also gained greater prominence for his role as Tommy Shelby in the BBC period drama series Peaky Blinders (2013–2022) and for starring in the horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II (2020). He won a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, and an Academy Award for portraying the American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer in Nolan's Oppenheimer (2023).


  • You find so much empathy in novels, you know, because there you are putting yourself into somebody else's point of view, and I've always been a big reader. When a movie can connect with someone, and they feel seen or feel heard, or a novel can change somebody's life, or a piece of music-- an album-- can change someone's life. And I've had all that happen to me. And that's the power of good art, I think.
  • The majority of my buddies are not in the business. I also love not working. And I think for me a lot of research as an actor is just fucking living, and, you know, having a normal life doing regular things and just being able to observe, and be, in that sort of lovely flow of humanity. If you can’t do that because you’re going from film festival to movie set to promotions…I mean that’s The Bubble. I’m not saying that makes you any better or less as an actor, but it’s just a world that I couldn’t exist in. I find it would be very limiting on what you can experience as a human being, you know?
  • But to clarify the thing about interviews, I love talking about the movie, I love talking about music and books and art. I'm not a huge fan of talking about myself. And I don't, and I don't think anyone really is, but I fully believe in this movie, and I love promoting it. So I'm very comfortable with all of that. And in terms of, you know, how it changes your life or anything like that, or changes how people perceive you that that hasn't changed for me, you know, my life has been exactly the same as it always was.
  • You have to move faster and work faster but I also enjoy that. When you’re confident in the material and hopefully confident in the character then you can just go at a pace.
  • I feel like I’m entering a different phase of my life. I don’t mind embracing it. I had a really good time in my 20s and 30s. Now I’m ready for a bit more… decorum, I guess? A bit more moderation? Still enjoying being a young man, but looking over the wall into the other side, you know?
  • There’s a wealth of stuff out there and I will read it all. I am never, ever going to understand quantum mechanics, no matter how hard or how many times people try to explain it to me. There’s 0.0001 per cent of the population on the planet who have the brainpower to understand that.

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