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Movies & TV

12th Jul 2023

Cillian Murphy refuses to play a smoker in his next role

Simon Kelly

Cillian Murphy quitting smoking

Murphy’s performance in Christopher Nolan’s epic has received early praise.

The excitement is ramping up for Cillian Murphy’s performance as leading man in the Barbie-rivalling Oppenheimer.

Playing nuclear physicist, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Murphy spent months preparing for the role and in the brief imagery from the trailers, we see the gaunt looking leader of the Manhattan project looking continuously on the end of his tether.

The prep for the role seemed to have taken its toll on the actor, who lost weight for the part to nail the silhouette of Oppenheimer “with the porkpie hat and the pipe”.

Speaking to the Guardian, Murphy said he would test himself to see how little he could eat. “You become competitive with yourself a little bit which is not healthy. I don’t advise it,” he said.

Something he had to take up again, that he was well used to on set of Peaky Blinders, was smoking. However, it’s not something the 47-year-old wants to pick up for his next project.

Cillian Murphy will not be smoking in his next role.

“Cigarettes and pipes. [Oppenheimer] would alternate between the two. That’s what did for him in the end,” Murphy said in the interview, talking of the scientist’s death from cancer in 1967.

“I’ve smoked so many fake cigarettes for Peaky and this. My next character will not be a smoker. They can’t be good for you. Even herbal cigarettes have health warnings now.”

Oppenheimer had its world premiere in Paris on Tuesday evening, and early reactions have been very strong, particularly of Murphy’s performance.

Robert Downey Jr, who also stars in the upcoming Christopher Nolan film recently praised Murphy and gushed over the Cork man’s performance.

“He is so beyond exceptional”, exclaimed Downey on the Armchair Expert podcast.

“We’ve been on some tough projects, but I have never seen anybody have a bigger lift in the history of my career than Cillian Murphy playing Oppenheimer”.

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