The actor described the feeling as an "electrifying" yet "terrifying" responsibility
When Christopher Nolan calls, you answer – Cillian Murphy knows it well, as he is the British director’s longtime collaborator and friend. In the wake of Oppenheimer’s success, Murphy shares his thoughts upon receiving Nolan’s call about the part.
A Challenging Opportunity
During Deadline’s Contenders Film: Los Angeles panel for Oppenheimer, Murphy opened up about joining Christopher Nolan’s epic biographical drama as the lead titular character, the physicist tasked with leading the Manhattan Project in creating the first atomic bomb. After receiving the out-of-the-blue call, Murphy confesses he had to “sit down for a moment” and gather his thoughts. The feeling was “electrifying” yet “terrifying” as the Irish actor knew it was a huge responsibility and a huge amount of work. Nonetheless, he said, “That’s the place I always want to be when I’m doing work – I don’t ever want it to feel easy or safe.” His thirst for a challenging role only proves how brilliant of an actor he is, and in hindsight, it’s hard to picture anybody but him as the brilliant protagonist of Nolan’s film.
What Persuaded Him Into Accepting The Role?
Murphy goes on to add, “The script was genuinely one of the best things I’d ever read — it was staggering kind of in its ambition and the scale, but also in how clearly he had plotted through the story of Oppenheimer.” Apparently, the script Murphy received, along with his co-stars, was written in the first person, something the actor had quite never seen before. The actor also revealed how he worked very closely with Nolan to figure out exactly how to capture Oppenheimer’s character – “he [Nolan] has such a wonderful understanding of the story and how he wants to tell the story and how the character should be portrayed.” Knowing Nolan’s distinctive filmmaking approach, it’s not hard to believe how Oppenheimer was meticulously crafted in its tiniest detail.
Oppenheimer was an incredible box office hit this summer, grossing $949.8 million worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing biopic of all time – all the more staggering considering it’s a 3-hour R-rated drama.
The film will soon be available to stream on Peacock, while it’s already available for purchase on Apple TV+, Prime Video, Vudu, and more streaming platforms.
Oppenheimer (2023) Universal Pictures Official Trailer