Peaky Blinder Cillian Murphy has been talking to Esquire about how, after a series of supporting roles for director Christopher Nolan, he has been cast as the lead in his next drama movie – Oppenheimer. “It’s the first time he’s cast me in a lead, which I’m still a bit in shock about, but I’m thrilled.”
Robert J Oppenheimer was one of the lead scientists on The Manhattan Project – which led to the development of the atomic bombs which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively ending the second world war.
A long list of extremely high-profile names have been attached to Nolan’s latest movie including (deep breath); Robert Downey Jr, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Josh Hartnett and Benny Safdie.
Murphy has had small roles in many of Nolan’s previous films, including Batman Begins, Inception and Dunkirk. Of Oppenheimer, he says; “It’s a huge part and a lot of work. But in my estimation, you’re working with one of the greatest living directors, so you’re in safe hands.”
Murphy continues; “It does feel immense and it feels terrifying. But if I felt it was easy, I wouldn’t be interested. I do get nervous, anxious and insecure, but then I think Fuck it. I have been doing it for 25 years and I have done it before. So just keep going.”
After Dunkirk, Oppenheimer will be only Nolan’s second movie based on a true story. Murphy says; “The difference with this one is the story is there, everybody knows what happened. But Chris is telling it in a different way, as with Chris you would expect. That’s all I can say.”
“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. But I can begin to understand, conceptually, what those guys were trying to do.”