From a transgender foundling in Breakfast on Pluto to a 1920s Irish freedom fighter in Ken Loach’s Palme D’Or-winning The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Murphy is a true chameleon. But no matter the character, his mesmerizing blue eyes convey an emotion that speaks volumes.
The actor lives in London and prefers to keep a low profile away from the celebrity circuit. He and his artist wife Yvonne have two children.
The striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy made his stage debut in 1996 with a role in Enda Walsh’s play Disco Pigs. He continued to perform on the theater scene in Dublin and London until he was cast in his first film, Danny Boyle’s 2002 post-apocalyptic thriller 28 Days Later. He’s since garnered more attention for his roles in such films as Girl with a Pearl Earring and Cold Mountain, but it was his portrayal of the larger-than-life crime gangster Tommy Shelby on the BBC and Netflix series Peaky Blinders that really brought him to the public’s attention.
He has worked with director Christopher Nolan several times, including in the 2010 sci-fi film Inception and as a World War II soldier in 2017’s Dunkirk. Other notable films in which he has starred include the action film RoboCop, Wes Craven’s airplane drama Red Eye, and the science-fiction movie Sunshine.
Born in Douglas and raised in Ballintemple, two suburbs of Cork city, Ireland, the actor is the oldest of four siblings. His father Brendan is a civil servant in the Irish Department of Education, and his mother is a French teacher. His aunts and uncles are teachers as well. He studied law at University College Cork but dropped out after a year to focus on his acting career. Originally an aspiring musician, he plays guitar and once was a member of the band Sons of Mr. Green Genes with his brother, but he turned down a recording contract to concentrate on his acting.
The actor who played Thomas Shelby in the BBC series Peaky Blinders has had a lengthy film career. He began acting in theater in his native Ireland, and his debut film role was as a shady character in Danny Boyle’s film 28 Days Later. He appeared in several more independent films and landed roles in bigger projects, such as Kenneth Loach’s 2006 drama The Wind That Shakes the Barley, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.
He took on more serious work with his performance as a prisoner of war in the World War II film Unknown Soldier. He also starred in a handful of television shows, including the four-part miniseries The Way We Live Now. In this adaptation of an Anthony Trollope novel, Murphy starred as Paul Montague, an engineer who comes to London with money-hungry aristocrats.
Famous director Christopher Nolan is a longtime fan of the actor’s, having first cast him in Batman Begins as Jonathan Crane, aka Scarecrow. He reprised the role in the sequels, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Other films with the director include Intermission, Inception and Dunkirk.
In 2015, Murphy starred in the action thriller Free Fire and Ron Howard’s whaling ship drama In the Heart of the Sea. He then had a small role in the 2016 drama The Party and another role in Nolan’s WWII film Dunkirk. His latest film is Oppenheimer, in which he plays J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who led the Manhattan Project to create nuclear weapons during World War II.
More To Know
The Irish actor has a number of projects in the works, and his career continues to thrive. He is also committed to giving back, and has worked with a range of charities and foundations. His philanthropic efforts help to support the work of these organizations and ensure that they can continue to do their important work.
He focuses much of his time on philanthropy in Ireland, where he lives with his wife and two children, according to Hello! magazine. The couple purchased a swanky home in the upscale Monkstown area of Dublin in 2015, which they enjoy spending time in when they’re not filming Peaky Blinders in London.
Murphy has also made a name for himself in Hollywood, appearing on several big budget films. He has worked with a wide range of directors, including Danny Boyle and Christopher Nolan. His roles in films like 28 Days Later, Inception, and The Dark Knight trilogy have earned him a hefty box office haul.
In addition to his acting, Murphy has been active in the music industry as well. He and his long-time friend Jon Nolan formed the band The Sons of Mr. Greengenes, which serves as another source of income for the actor. This musical pursuit is an added dimension to his impressive résumé, and adds to his overall appeal as a performer.
The Irish actor is one of today’s most beloved and acclaimed actors. His versatile acting, humility and charm have earned him critical acclaim and wide popularity. He is most recognized for his nine-year stint as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders. His appearance in this critically acclaimed TV series has made him well-known amongst die-hard fans.
Murphy’s filmography is impressive as well. He appeared in the 1999 movie Intermission and the 2006 film Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley. The latter film won the Palm D’Or at Cannes. He also starred in Christopher Nolan’s 2010 movie Inception alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard.
He is slated to appear in the 2022 movie Small Things Like These, based on Claire Keegan’s award-winning historical novel of the same name. The movie tells the story of a coal merchant Bill Furlong who, during a delivery to a convent, discovers startling secrets about his own and his town’s past. The film will be produced and directed by Tim Mielants, with Ciaran Hinds and Emily Watson joining the cast.
In addition to starring in movies and television shows, Murphy has also portrayed a diverse range of characters in a variety of roles in the theater. He was part of the stage productions of Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs and Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things.