Cillian Murphy has appeared in some of the biggest movies and television shows of the 21st century, taking on a range of critically-acclaimed and cinematic roles, from “Peaky Blinders” boss Thomas Shelby to “Batman” villain Scarecrow. Yet the Irish actor has revealed that fans are actually “underwhelmed” when they meet him.
Speaking in a rare and wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone UK for its latest issue, released Thursday, Murphy opens up about his uneasiness with fame and being in the spotlight.
“I don’t really partake. I don’t go out. I’m just at home mostly, or with my friends, unless I have a film to promote. I don’t like being photographed by people. I find that offensive,” Murphy said.
The 46-year-old believes his fans are underwhelmed at his lack of “charisma” and “swagger.”
“I think it’s the Tommy Shelby thing. People expect this mysterious, swaggering… it’s just a character. I do feel people are a little bit underwhelmed. That’s fine, it means I’m doing my job,” continued Murphy, adding the 1920s Birmingham gangster of Shelby “couldn’t be further from me.”
Discussing fame, Murphy added: “It can ruin experiences, because it fetishises everything: You can be walking down the street and someone takes a picture … but that’s part and parcel of it.”
Despite this, Murphy never shies away from taking on Hollywood’s big roles.
In July, he will join Oscar-winning film director Christopher Nolan, starring in his latest blockbuster “Oppenheimer.”
The movie, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer” by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, 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 told Rolling Stone UK: “Cillian has this extraordinary empathetic ability to carry an audience into a thought process. He projects an intelligence that allows the audience to feel that they understand the character and see layers of meaning.”
The pair have a long history of working together, with Murphy appearing in “The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception” and “Dunkirk.”
“I always hoped I could play a lead in a Chris Nolan movie. What actor wouldn’t want to do that?” Murphy added.
“I was a Chris Nolan fan. That’s how I was when I met him for the first time … So, it feels absurd that I’ve been in six of his films,” the actor said.
CNN’s Marianne Garvey contributed reporting.