Cillian Murphy's story about making The Wind that Shakes the Barley is remarkable 3 years ago

Cillian Murphy's story about making The Wind that Shakes the Barley is remarkable

A fantastic film that just got even better.

In typically self-deprecating and honest fashion, Blindboy Boatclub said that the sole purpose of his recent chat with Cillian Murphy was with "the specific goal of getting lads to register for the referendum and vote yes to repeal the Eight Amendment. When I heard Cillian wanted to be in my podcast, I felt very humbled and thought immediately 'fuck yes!"


As stated previously, the most pertinent issue that these two men discuss is regarding the Eight Amendment and the need to get men voting, but aside from this important issue, the two lads also have an incredibly interesting chat about a variety of topics.

On that note, Murphy's account of filming Ken Loach's wonderful drama, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, is essential for anyone that has an interest in film and Irish history.

If you've never seen the drama that's set during the Irish War of Independence and subsequent Civil War, you need to address that immediately.

The film tells the fictional story of two brothers from Cork, Damien O'Donovan (Cillian Murphy) and Teddy O'Donovan (Pádraic Delaney), who join the IRA. Ultimately, like so many families in Ireland after the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed, the brothers turn on each other as their loyalty and love is put to the ultimate test.

Since being released in 2007, Loach's film has been hailed as one of the most important Irish films of all time. Aside from being adored by the public and critics alike - it currently has an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes - the film also won the incredibly prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.


When speaking on Blindboy's podcast, the Cork actor was glowing about Loach's skill as a director and he also revealed an amazing detail; the actors never even got scripts to work from.

Clip via - Volta VOD

"I think that he (Loach) is one of the greatest filmmakers alive. His work is very political and it wears its message very clearly on his sleeve but the performances he gets from his actors is unique. His method is kind of unique but quite well known, we never get the script. A script exists - scenes are written, they're not improvised - but the actors aren't given the scripts," said Murphy.

With regards to his own performance, Murphy said that Loach's approach to filmmaking made him an even better actor.


"I knew that my character in the film was a doctor but I never knew where his politics lay until the film progressed. That's why the performances felt so real because events are sort of unfolding right in front of your eyes and you react in an emotional, non-intellectual way and that's where the truth exists."

Murphy adds: "He's a compassionate, empathic director. In fact, he's so quiet and mild mannered that you wouldn't even notice him until he starts filming. I remember doing scenes and he wouldn't even say 'Action!' because he'd just say 'off you go' and then he wouldn't even look at the scene, he'd just listen. His films are very honest and if you look at his films, you notice that people 'trip' over their words when they talk and speak like they normally do in real life."

Given the incredible attention to detail and raw truth that's conveyed throughout The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Murphy's anecdotes somehow manage to make a great film even better.

Here's the interview in full.