Cillian Murphy (; born 25 May 1976) is an Irish actor. He began his career performing as a rock musician. After turning down a record deal, he began his acting career in theatre, and in short and independent films in the late 1990s. His first notable film roles include Darren in Disco Pigs (2001), Jim in 28 Days Later (2002), John in Intermission (2003), Jackson Rippner in Red Eye (2005), and Patrick "Kitten" Braden in Breakfast on Pluto (2005). For Breakfast on Pluto, he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, and won an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor. Murphy is known for his collaborations with director Christopher Nolan, playing the Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012); as well as appearing in Inception (2010) and Dunkirk (2017). Other lead and major film roles include Damien O'Donovan in The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006), Robert Capa in Sunshine (2007), Raymond Leon in In Time (2011), Jozef Gabčík in Anthropoid (2016), and Emmett in A Quiet Place Part II (2020). Since 2013, Murphy has portrayed Thomas Shelby, the lead role of the BBC gangster series Peaky Blinders, which has won him two Irish Film and Television Awards for Best Actor, in 2017 and 2018, respectively.In 2011, Murphy won the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Actor, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for the one-man play Misterman. In 2020, he was ranked number 12 on The Irish Times' list of Ireland's greatest film actors.
Murphy was born in Douglas, County Cork, Ireland, and was raised in Ballintemple, Cork. His father Brendan worked for the Irish Department of Education, and his mother was a French teacher. His grandfather, aunts and uncles were also teachers. Murphy started playing music and writing songs at the age of 10. He has a younger brother, Páidi Murphy, and two younger sisters, Sile Murphy and Orla Murphy.He was raised Roman Catholic, and attended the Catholic secondary school Presentation Brothers College; there he did well academically but got into trouble often, sometimes being suspended, until he decided in his fourth year that misbehaving was not worth the hassle. Not keen on sports, a major part of the school's life, Murphy found that creative pursuits were not fully nurtured at the school. However, it was in secondary school that he got his first taste of performing, when he participated in a drama module presented by Pat Kiernan, the director of the Corcadorca Theatre Company; Murphy later described the experience as a "huge high" and a "fully alive" feeling that he set out to chase. His English teacher, the poet and novelist William Wall, encouraged him to pursue acting; however, to Murphy, performing meant becoming a rock star.In his late teens and early twenties, Murphy pursued a career as a musician, singing and playing on the piano in several bands alongside his brother, Páidi; the Beatles-obsessed pair named their most successful band 'The Sons of Mr. Greengenes', after a 1969 song by another idol, Frank Zappa, which he said "specialised in wacky lyrics and endless guitar solos". They were offered a five-album record deal by Acid Jazz Records, but did not sign the contract; this was owing to Páidi still being in secondary school, and to the small recompense involved in ceding the rights to Murphy's compositions to the record label. Murphy later confessed: "I'm very glad in retrospect that we didn't sign because you kind of sign away your life to a label and the whole of your music."He began studying law at University College Cork (UCC) in 1996, but he failed his first-year exams because, as he put it, he had "no ambitions to do it". Not only was he busy with his band, but he has said that he knew within days after starting at UCC that law was not what he wanted to do. After seeing Corcadorca's stage production of A Clockwork Orange, directed by Kiernan, acting had begun to pique his interest. His first major role was in the UCC Drama Society's amateur production of Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, which also starred Irish-American comedian Des Bishop. Murphy also played the lead in a UCC Drama production of Little Shop of Horrors, which was performed in the Cork Opera House. According to Murphy, his primary motivation then was to party and meet women, not to begin an acting career.
Movies & TV shows
2 Movies · 1 TV show
All of This Unreal Time
‘I came out here to apologise. You know. I find myself, at the midpoint of my life, in a dark wood, and now I’m here, in the forest of my mind, and every tree is shame, every living thing is a reprima...
Fight for First: Excel Esports
It's the start of pre-season training, and Kieran is looking for a fresh start after his team's disappointing season in 2019. The tenth place finish was the lowest of the bunch. He invests in a high- ...
A Quiet Place Part II
The Abbott family are facing terrors in the outside world after the events at home. The creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats.
1 TV show
A World of Calm
A timely antidote for our modern lives, this revolutionary series takes audiences on an audiovisual journey designed to help them relax and transform how they feel. Each episode is brought to life by ...
2 Movies · 1 TV show
I'm the Man
An attempted study on humankind, what we define as evil, and the inner conflict of morality.
The Irish Revolution
A three-part docuseries to mark the centenary of the Irish War of Independence, telling the story of the people’s revolution of 1916 to 1922, as it has never been told before. We explore how the rebel...
Anna Poliatova has a secret that will allow her to become one of the world's most feared government assassins.
An animated adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's classic short story about an office worker (Cillian Murphy) who saves all his money to buy a new coat in time for Christmas, only to have fate take a ghostly ...
The Dunkirk Spirit: Behind the Making of the Movie
Nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, Dunkirk is Christopher Nolan's sweeping, emotional epic. Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troop...
The Delinquent Season
In Dublin, two couples (Jim and Danielle; Yvonne and Chris) are seemingly living in marital bliss. However, when Chris's behaviour begins to change, Yvonne seeks solace in the arms of Jim, and before ...
The year is 1940. The new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is elected as Hitler's forces storm across Europe. His leadership is immediately tested as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied tr...
Between May 26th and June 4th 1940, the Allied soldiers were cut off from the rest of the world and surrounded by the German army.
Various individuals think they are coming together for a party in a private home, but a series of revelations results in a huge crisis that throws their belief systems and their values into total disa...
In 1970s Boston, a gun sale goes wrong and there is a crime drama about it.
How to Make a Ken Loach Film
You will be on a set with Ken. Throwing us into life on location and during pre-production allows you to change the course of your viewing experience by selecting inserts in which Loach and some of hi...
Two Czech soldiers killed a Nazi officer in 1941.
Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach
A surprisingly candid behind-the-scenes account of the career of Ken Loach, one of Britain's most celebrated and controversial filmmakers, as he prepares to release his final major film.
Ken Loach in Conversation with Cillian Murphy
Actor Cillian Murphy, who played the lead role in Ken Loach's Palme d'Or-winning film The Wind That Shakes the Barley, talks to the director at the BFI Southbank about a prolific career dedicated to d...
Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth
This landmark series explores a vast ocean that spans nearly 10,000 miles and includes sun-drenched tropical reefs and crushing depths. Over three programmes it reveals the amazing, surprising and res...
In the Heart of the Sea
The whaling ship Essex was attacked by a whale.
A past marred by an accident that tears them apart is what we learn as we follow a mother and her son. She will become a renowned artist and healer, and he will grow into his own and a peculiar falcon...
Lennon or McCartney
Over the last ten years, more than 500 artists have been interviewed. When they were asked a question, they were told to only say one word. Some answered quickly, some thought it through, and others d...
Two leading computer scientists work towards their goal of Technological Singularity, as a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent them from creating a world where computers can superse...
1 Movie · 1 TV show
The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of The Dark Knight Trilogy
The inspiration and vision for the new Batman films opens the documentary, which is the culmination of nearly a decade of creative blood, sweat and tears. The film is candid, thoughtful and extensive,...
A gang that sews razor blades in the peaks of their caps is the focus of a movie about a family that wants to move up in the world.
The Dark Knight Rises
Following the death of District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman assumes responsibility for Dent's crimes to protect the late attorney's reputation, and is subsequently hunted by the Gotham City Police De...
Two people are investigating hoaxes. Margaret and Tom studied the most varied metaphysics in order to prove their fraudulent origins. Simon Silver, a legendary blind psychic, reappears after an enigma...
Three suburban English families have tragic consequences.
They escaped from personal tragedy to an island retreat. Their attempts to recover are shattered when a man is washed up on a beach with news of a killer disease sweeping through Europe.
In the future, the aging genes will be switched off. People pay differently to avoid overpopulation. The rich can live forever. A young man can't help his dying mother. He is on the run from the polic...
Cobb, a skilled thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets, is offered a chance to regain his old life as payment for a task considered to be impossible: "in...
Kevin Flynn's son Sam is going to investigate his father's disappearance. Sam was able to stop Clu from entering the real world with the help of a program called Quorra.
A man with a split personality fools his small town into believing his two alter egos are his wife and husband, although a struggling young mother holds the key to his past and sparks a battle between...
The Dark Knight
The stakes are high in Batman's fight against crime. The lieutenant helped. Batman is going to dismantle the criminal organizations that plague the streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but...
There is a story about the Irish roots of surfing.
The Edge of Love
When the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and his flirtatious wife are in London, they don't expect to run into Dylan's childhood sweetheart Vera. Vera is torn between the open admiration of her new found beau...
Watching the Detectives
Neil, a self proclaimed film nerd and owner of Gumshoe video, has always been content to live vicariously through his favorite films. His mundane world gets turned upside down when he meets a real-lif...
Fifty years from now, the sun is going to die and the Earth is going to get cold. A team of astronauts resuscitates the Sun. A new team is sent to finish the job.
Carry on Ken
There is a documentary on the films of Ken Loach. Interviews with people who worked with Loach. The approach to allowing actors a wide range of freedom was described.
The Silent City
The soldiers are outside of the city. They have to wait for help when a bomb is accidentally set off.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
A doctor leaves Ireland to work in London. A young man is killed as British Black and Tans arrive at his friend's farm. Teddy joined the Irish Republican Army with his brother, but soon political even...
Bruce Wayne devotes his life to uncovering and defeating the corruption that plagues his home of Gotham City. He created a new identity called The Batman because he couldn't work within the system.
A woman is kidnapped. After being threatened with her father's murder, she was pulled into a plot to help her captor kill a politician.
Breakfast on Pluto
Patrick "Kitten" Braden came of age in the 1970s by leaving his Irish town for London, in part to look for his mother and in part because his trans nature was beyond the town's understanding.
Girl with a Pearl Earring
The painting "Girl With A Pearl Earring" was created by Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. A young maid in Johannes Vermeer's house becomes his assistant and model for one of his most famous works.
There is a tale of bad boys, good girls and shady cops. Irish guts and resilience allow lives to collide, preconceptions to shatter and romance to be tested to the extreme. Everyone is affected by a c...
In this classic story of love and devotion set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, a wounded Confederate soldier named W.P. Inman deserts his unit and travels across the South to return to...
28 Days Later
Twenty-eight days after a killer virus was accidentally unleashed from a British research facility, a small group of London survivors are caught in a desperate struggle to protect themselves. Humans a...
How Harry Became a Tree
his drama is set in rural Ireland. Believing that "a man is measured by his enemies", Harry Maloney ('Colm Meany' ) sets out to ruin George O'Flaherty - the most powerful man in town, who not only own...
3 Movies · 1 TV show
The Way We Live Now
The story of Victorian power and corruption is set in the 1870s. Within weeks of his arrival in London, Augustus Melmotte announces a railway is to be built from Salt Lake City to the Gulf of Mexico a...
The comedy of errors was written by two-time onscreen lovers Paloma Baeza and Cillian Murphy. Phil and Ray looked out of their window as two men hid from the police outside the door of a neighboring h...
On the same day, Pig and Runt were born. Twins are all part of the same family. They are telepathy from birth. In a world where they make their own rules and have their own language, they are one. Bef...
On the Edge
suicidal patients go through therapy in a treatment center.
Filleann an Feall
Two Dubs, Sean and Ger, get wind of the proverbial pot of gold and what should be a straight-forward job becomes a fiasco. But, there's an old Irish saying - "Filleann an feall ar an bhfeallaire - Wha...
A Man of Few Words
A father of the bride (Eamonn Hunt), usually a teetotaler, gets drunk to cope with the anxiety of delivering his reception speech, because he has a stutter. Mayhem ensues, and the wedding party, inclu...
The 'Molly Maguires' take revenge on an old man who has been telling stories to the Landlord.
At Death's Door
Death is training his son in the art and responsibilities of the family business. His son does well until he's sent out on his own to claim an accident victim. Instead, he's asked by a friend of the d...
The worst defeat in British military history was suffered by a group of young British soldiers on the eve of the Battle of the Somme. The movie depicts the soldiers' experience as a mixture of boredom...
For a summer of fun, a slacker named Davin McDerby arrives in Long Island. He wants to enjoy himself as much as possible, but at the same time escape the pressing problems that await him back home in ...
There is a man with a child. An easy target in a corrupt world, Sweety becomes involved in a smuggling operation unleashing a spiral of dangerous and unexpected events.
A young boy Michael is taken by his family on a round-the-world sailing trip. But when a storm strikes, Michael and his dog Stella are swept overboard and washed up on a remote island. They struggle t...
Peaky Blinders: A peek behind the curtain
Peaky Blinders season 3 is the subject of a documentary.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cillian_Murphy", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.