Matt Damon praises "phenomenal" Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer tour-de-force 4 months ago

Matt Damon praises "phenomenal" Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer tour-de-force

"It's very intense."

Matt Damon says he was stunned by the performance delivered by Cillian Murphy in the titular role of Oppenheimer in a movie that has, so far, exceeded all box-office expectations.


Already expected to be in the running for a slew of awards categories, Oppenheimer has also pulled in a rake of cash at the cinema, despite being up against the Barbie movie.

Damon plays Lieutenant General Lesley Groves, of the US Army, in the film. Groves, from the army's engineer corp, was also one of the main figures behind the construction of The Pentagon, but Christopher Nolan's film focuses on his involvement with 'The Manhattan Project' - development of the atomic bomb - during World War II.

Our very own Rory Cashin caught up with Matt Damon during the media push before Oppenheimer's release and found the American positively gushing when asked about the performance of Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer:

"At the outset of this movie, Christopher said, 'Look, I'm putting this entire thing on Cillian's back'. The script was written in the first person, so rather than say, 'Oppenheimer walks across the room', it says, 'I walk across the room'. We're coming right through this guy's eyes, and trying to get inside his head.

"And Chris said, I need my other actors to be in support of that mission. That's our mission - it's all on Cillian. First of all, it's one of the greatest screen performances I've ever seen. I mean, he is phenomenal in this movie.

"But watching Cillian and Chris together - because I do think when a role is this central, and Chris wrote and directed it - the two of them were just locked together. There was this symbiosis. They really built this thing, this Oppenheimer character, together. The camera is always in just the right place, with Cillian, everything is perfectly calibrated. He's in every frame of this movie and, again, it's why the movie works."


For an actor, and screenwriter, of Matt Damon's stature, to say Murphy's take on Oppenheimer is 'one of the greatest screen performances I've ever seen' is absolutely massive.

Matt Damon on Oppenheimer

A gripping movie told in three parts, each varying in theme and intensity, Oppenheimer is described by Matt Damon as "intense", "distressing" and "powerful".


Damon believes Christopher Nolan, who wrote, directed and was co-producer on Oppenheimer, is 'just a master at understanding what the audience needs, and when they need it'.

"It's very, very easy to work for Chris Nolan," he adds, "because he's just so dialled in! He creates this beautiful atmosphere that is very relaxed. It feels very casual, even though the subject matter is so serious.

"He really puts his actors in a spot where they can just thrive. That's why the acting is always so great in his movies. He really understands actors, and acting, and it is not an accident."

Check out our interview with Christopher Nolan right here:


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