Monday, Oct 02, 2023

'Oppenheimer': A Look At Cillian Murphy Aka Thomas Shelby's Other Remarkable Roles

'Oppenheimer': A Look At Cillian Murphy Aka Thomas Shelby's Other Remarkable Roles

Cillian Murphy's first look as the titular theoretical physicist in Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' was released earlier today.

Irish actor Cillian Murphy
Irish actor Cillian Murphy Getty Images

Irish actor Cillian Murphy is best known for his portrayal of Thomas Shelby in the hit series 'Peaky Blinders'. Murphy is a remarkable actor who has been showcasing his fine acting skills in films for years now. 

Murphy's first look as the titular theoretical physicist in Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' was released earlier today. Kenneth Branagh, Alden Ehrenreich, and David Krumholtz will join Murphy, who has collaborated with Nolan on 'The Dark Knight' trilogy, 'Inception,' and 'Dunkirk.'

Murphy's Oppenheimer wears a cap and has a cigarette between his lips in the new monochrome image. The photo shows Murphy in yet another intriguing character that he is about to portray.

Over the years, Murphy has been part of numerous films and his profound acting skills have been witnessed by audiences for years now. From the 'Batman' trilogy to 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley', here are five iconic roles played by Murphy on screen.


Cillian Murphy in the film 'Inception'Cillian Murphy in the film 'Inception'

'Inception' is probably the most iconic film that Murphy was part of, audiences saw him go scene-for-scene with seasoned actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Tom Hardy in one of the greatest films ever made and emerge on equal footing. The film is regarded as a mind-bending narrative that perplexed many viewers upon its initial release due to its uniqueness and unexpected cliffhanger ending, which left fans guessing as to how the movie actually ends. Murphy's performance enhances rather than detracts from the other performers' work, and this is what allows each character to stand out in the audience's mind.

'The Wind that Shakes the Barley'

Cillian Murphy in the film 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley'Cillian Murphy in the film 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley'

The 2007 war drama, portraying a young Murphy as a young IRA officer during the Irish War for Independence, is an out-and-out masterpiece of Irish historical storytelling, putting him in a character where he could do nothing but shine. Murphy's performance in this film is extremely taxing, and it is based on his own Irish history, so it's no surprise that it's one of his greatest. 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley' is set against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence where two brothers, one of whom is played by Cillian Murphy, must fight a guerrilla war against the British forces. It's a gripping story from start to finish, and one that is full of twists and turns that keep the audience engaged all the way. The film received widespread acclaim and was awarded the Palme d'Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. 

'Batman Trilogy'

Cillian Murphy in 'Batman'Cillian Murphy in 'Batman'

Murphy appears in all three Batman films directed by Christopher Nolan. It's odd that Murphy's involvement as a prominent villain in the defining superhero trilogy of its time didn't get him more accolades, but that shouldn't detract from his truly unnerving performance as the Scarecrow. Murphy's character is a crooked psychotherapist who traffics in illegal drugs into Gotham City. This twisted character couldn't have been simple to portray, but the convincing portrayal adds to the movie's enjoyment for viewers.

'Peaky Blinders'

Cillian Murphy in 'Peaky Blinders'Cillian Murphy in 'Peaky Blinders'

While Cillian Murphy's career has been focused on movies rather than television, but he is unquestionably best recognised for his portrayal as Thomas Shelby in 'Peaky Blinders.' The iconic BBC drama is set in 1920s Birmingham and chronicles the escapades of the Shelby family gang. Although the series has numerous characters, it constantly comes back to Thomas Shelby's issues, especially with his own identity. While he develops his own empire in the aftermath of WWI, he is torn apart by his inner conflict, which stems from both his service as a soldier and the horrible atrocities he and the Peaky Blinders have perpetrated under his command.


Cillian Murphy in the film 'Dunkirk'Cillian Murphy in the film 'Dunkirk'

After his performance in Peaky Blinders, Murphy's abilities were put to the test in Chris Nolan's Dunkirk, and he rose to the occasion admirably in what will have to go down as one of the finest all-time war classics. Murphy plays a shell-shocked soldier who is rescued aboard a civilian ship. When he realises they're on their way back to Dunkirk, he demands they turn around, which leads to a brawl with the young guy who assists in his escape. Murphy's character deals with severe PTSD in the film, and his portrayal is both compelling and intriguing.


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