Cillian Murphy made greatest 'sacrifice by lead actor' Robert Downey Jr had seen in 53 year career
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Robert Downey Jr. says that Cillian Murphy made one of the greatest sacrifices of any leading actor he has ever seen to get into the role if J. Robert Oppenheimer.
It’s fair to say that people are pleased with the movie, and particular praise has been reserved for Murphy’s performance in the lead role as the father of the atomic bomb.
However, reviews and praise from critics and audiences are one thing, but praise from your peers within the acting world must be entirely another and more satisfying way of appraising your own work.
Iron Man star Downey Jr. and the rest of the cast had a lot to say about how dedicated Murphy was to his role, as well as the sacrifices that he made for the good of the picture.
That involved learning a load of Dutch, as well as losing a load of weight and staying almost completely separate from his co-stars, despite living in the same hotel as them.
Downey Jr. told People: “I have never witnessed a greater sacrifice by a lead actor in my career. He knew it was going to be a behemoth ask when Chris called him.
“But I think he also had the humility that is required to survive playing a role like this.
“We’d be like, ‘Hey, we got a three-day weekend. Maybe we’ll go antiquing in Santa Fe. What are you going to do?’ ‘Oh, I have to learn 30,000 words of Dutch. Have a nice time.’
“But that’s the nature of the ask.”
Oppenheimer took 57 days to shoot – one of the shortest times for any Nolan film – and features Murphy heavily in just about every scene.
During filming, everyone was pretty much based in the same hotel, meaning that most would eat together and hang out when they had any down time.
Not Murphy, though.
In a previous interview with People, co-star Matt Damon explained: “Of course he didn’t want to come and have dinner with us,
“He couldn’t. His brain was just too full.”
Emily Blunt reckoned that Murphy wouldn’t join the rest of the crew because ‘the sheer volume of what he had to take on and shoulder is so monumental'.
It’s not an easy role, that’s for sure.
It’s also probably the biggest leading role of Murphy’s career, which must come with added pressure.
Murphy told the outlet: “You know that when you have those big roles, that responsibility, you feel it’s kind of overwhelming.”
Add to that his weight loss and extra learning tasks and you’ve got a lot going on. But it wasn’t lost on his colleagues, that’s for sure.
Florence Pugh added: “Chris had one of the most incredible leads in Cillian.
“He is an actor that I have been watching for quite some time and have been desperate to work with for ages. You’d have to be mad to say no. It was truly one of the best experiences that I’ve had.
“Working with him was hugely impressive,
“Every single day he shows up knowing every single possible way, intonation, inflection of how to bring this character to life. That was hugely impressive to me. There’s a reason why he is one of the greats.”
If you want to see him at work, Oppenheimer is in cinemas now.