Cillian Murphy, who has been nominated for both an Oscar and a Bafta, is a strong contender for the best actor awards. He played Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan’s film, which tells the story of the man who developed the atom bomb. Despite this success, Murphy has stated that he would gladly reprise his role as Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders, either on television or in a movie, if given the opportunity.
“I will be present if there is more of the story to be told and if Stephen Knight produces a script that I have confidence in,” Murphy stated. “I am willing to watch a 50-year-old Tommy Shelby, so let’s make it happen.”
During a recent interview on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Chris from Cork discussed the effect of success on his life and shared his perspective on playing Oppenheimer. He came to the realization that his portrayal would be a combination of the script, his observations of Oppenheimer, and his own personal touch. Ultimately, this would result in his own unique version of the character.
Murphy admits that he was hesitant about walking the red carpet at public events until his significant involvement in the awards season. He shared, “I’ve had difficulties in the past, but it’s a choice to embrace it. You can change your mindset. Honestly, it would be foolish not to embrace it. Just embrace it.”
Murphy admits to Laverne that his nerves are heightened while working on a film set compared to being on stage, where he began his career. He explains that this is due to the fact that in a play, one has control over their performance and can make adjustments if necessary. However, in film, there is no opportunity to correct mistakes. Additionally, Murphy finds the quietness on set before delivering a line to be daunting.
At the age of 47, Murphy also talks about his initial aspirations of pursuing a music career. He came close to achieving this when his band was presented with a contract for five albums.
However, some of the band members’ parents were not in favor and as a result, Murphy shifted his focus to acting. He was able to secure a role in Enda Walsh’s play, Disco Pigs, and later landed a pivotal role in Ken Loach’s award-winning film, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. Murphy credited Loach’s improvisational approach for significantly altering his approach to work.
However, the role that brought him widespread recognition, Shelby in Knight’s well-known TV show centered around Birmingham criminals, was not easily handed to Murphy. He admitted, “I may not have been the obvious fit physically. I’m not sure if I convinced Stephen during our meeting, but I did send him a text afterwards that said: ‘Remember, I am an actor.’ And I truly believe that. As actors, it is our responsibility to adapt and embody whatever the role requires.”