Speaking ahead of the release of Christopher Nolan’s nuclear epic – and first feature film starring Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer, Murphy revealed which one of Nolan’s previous works he would have loved to have starred in… and why he actually prefers watching films that he’s not in.
Following the conclusion of Nolan’s previous film Tenet, the British-American director said that Robert Pattinson handed him “a book of Oppenheimer‘s speeches from the 1950s,” titled American Prometheus. Written by Martin. J Sherwin, American Prometheus told the story of the birth of the atomic bomb that was used to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War.
Adorning the cover of this book was the father of the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, staring back at Nolan with these wide, expressive eyes. It was in that moment Nolan knew he had already found the perfect actor to star in his latest film, someone with whom he had previously worked for almost two decades across five movies, Cillian Murphy.
For Nolan, this is his magnum opus; his perfect moment, and his sixth feature with Cillian Murphy.
Murphy is already being touted for the Best Actor Oscar nomination for his titular role as the complicated and troubled nuclear physicist. Oppenheimer has exceeded $650 million USD (~$1 billion AUD) at the box office and its 70mm run has been extended at the IMAX through the end of August.
Not only has Oppenheimer been one of Christopher Nolan’s most successful films to date, but it’s also contributed to this year’s most iconic cultural moment, fuelling internet culture for months in what has been a cinematic renaissance supported by Nolan and Greta Gewig’s Barbie.
Speaking with The Independent before the SAG-AFTRA strikes, Cillian Murphy was reflecting on some of Nolan’s previous works during a promotion for Oppenheimer, deciding which movie would best pair in a similar Barbenheimer-esque doubleheader.
When he was asked which of Nolan’s previous works he would have liked to have starred in, Murphy said, “I adore Interstellar just because I find it so emotional. I remember seeing it in the cinema when I had little kids. It just had a big impact on me. It broke my heart.”
Although the Irish actor did suggest that Nolan had cast well, saying Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway were “the right people” for the roles.
Better yet, Murphy prefers Nolan’s movies when he’s “not in them because you don’t have to freak out about the size of your ears, or whatever,” so it’s probably a good thing he’s able to enjoy Interstellar without the unavoidable weight of self-reflection.