Cillian Murphy is a highly acclaimed Irish actor, born on May 25, 1976, in Douglas, Cork. His mother taught French while his father, Brendan, worked for the Department of Education. He was raised in Ballintemple, Cork, alongside his younger brother Páidi and two younger sisters Sile and Orla. He started writing and performing songs at the age of 10 and got his first taste of performing in secondary school when he participated in a drama module presented by Corcadorca Theatre Company director Pat Kiernan. He later described the experience as a “huge high” and a “fully alive” feeling that he then set out to chase. In his late teens and early 20s, he sang and played the guitar in several bands alongside his brother, Páidi, and the Beatles-obsessed duo named their most successful band The Sons of Mr. Green Genes, which they adopted from the Frank Zappa song of the same name1.
He made his professional debut in Enda Walsh’s 1996 play Disco Pigs, and in the 2001 screen adaptation of the same name. His early notable film credits include the horror film 28 Days Later (2002), the dark comedy Intermission (2003), the thriller Red Eye (2005), the Irish war drama The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006), and the thriller Sunshine (2007). He played a transgender Irish woman in the comedy-drama Breakfast on Pluto (2005), which earned him a nomination for a Golden Globe Award. Murphy is also known for his collaborations with director Christopher Nolan, having played Scarecrow in The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), and appearing in Inception (2010) and Dunkirk (2017). He gained further 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)1.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone UK, Murphy opened up about his uneasiness with fame and being in the spotlight. He mentioned that fans are often underwhelmed when they meet him, likely due to the contrast between his enigmatic on-screen characters and his real-life personality. Despite this, he continues to take on big roles in Hollywood. In July 2023, he will join Oscar-winning film director Christopher Nolan, starring in his latest blockbuster “Oppenheimer”. The movie is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer” by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, and is about atomic bomb creator J. Robert Oppenheimer. Murphy will star as Oppenheimer, with the movie focusing on the 1945 Trinity Test in New Mexico, where the world’s first nuclear device was detonated successfully. Nolan praised Murphy’s extraordinary empathetic ability to carry an audience into a thought process and to project an intelligence that allows the audience to understand the character and see layers of meaning2.