Cillian Murphy on Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’: Interested in the man, not mechanics

02:33 PM Feb 24, 2022 | PTI |

London:  Irish star Cillian Murphy says his focus with upcoming Christopher Nolan directorial ”Oppenheimer” is to understand who Robert J Oppenheimer was in real life without going into the mechanics of how an atom bomb is created.


Murphy, who previously worked with Nolan on three “Dark Knight” films as well as “Inception” and “Dunkirk”, is headlining the film, which focuses on the American theoretical physicist who helped develop the atomic bomb during World War II.

During an interview with The Guardian, the 45-year-old actor said he has been doing ”an awful lot of reading” to play the part.

”I’m interested in the man and what (inventing the atomic bomb) does to the individual. The mechanics of it, that’s not really for me – I don’t have the intellectual capability to understand them…” Murphy said.

The actor said he has always been fascinated by contradictory characters like Oppenheimer and Thomas ”Tommy” Shelby, his character from hit TV series ”Peaky Blinders”.


”These contradictory characters are fascinating. Tommy Shelby’s a complete contradiction, too. People identify with that, because we all walk around with these contradictory ideas coexisting in our heads,” Murphy added.

Talking about his creative partnership with Nolan, the actor said he is always ready to collaborate with the filmmaker, without even bothering about the length of the role he is offered.

”I’ll always turn up for Chris, whatever the size of the part. Chris will call me up and I’m there. Isn’t it wonderful that filmmakers are still making challenging, demanding films within the studio system, shot on film rather than IMAX? ”I think he’s flying the flag. Him, Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, are fantastic filmmakers making interesting work on a massive scale,” Murphy added.

In ”Oppenheimer”, Murphy is joined by a star-studded cast of Robert Downey Jr, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Benny Safdie, Josh Hartnett, Dane DeHaan, Kenneth Branagh, Jack Quaid, Matthew Modine, David Krumholtz, Alden Ehrenreich and Matthew Modine.

The film, based on Oppenheimer’s biography ”American Prometheus” penned by Kai Bird and Martin J Sherwin, starts filming this month in New Mexico.

Nolan has adapted the film to screen. His creative partner and wife Emma Thomas will produce ”Oppenheimer” with Charles Roven of Atlas Entertainment.

The movie is slated to be released in theatres by Universal on July 21, 2023.



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