Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes.

A native of Cork, Murphy began his performing career as a rock musician. After turning down a record deal, he made his professional acting debut in the play Disco Pigs in 1996. He went on to star in Irish and UK film and stage productions throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, first coming to international attention in 2003 as the hero in the post-apocalyptic film 28 Days Later. Murphy's best-known roles are as villains in two 2005 blockbusters: the Scarecrow in the superhero film Batman Begins, and Jackson Rippner in the thriller Red Eye. Next came two contrasting, widely acclaimed starring roles: his Golden Globe Award-nominated performance as transgender outcast "Kitten" in 2005's Breakfast on Pluto and a turn as a 1920s Irish revolutionary in the 2006 Palme d'Or winner, The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

In 2010, Murphy will co-star in Inception, a big budget movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio by Batman Begins/The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan.

A resident of London since 2001, Murphy often works in or near the city and has expressed no desire to move to Hollywood. Uncomfortable on the celebrity circuit, he customarily gives interviews about his work, but does not appear on television talk shows or discuss details of his private life with the press.

Born in Douglas and raised in Ballintemple, two suburbs of Cork, Cillian Murphy is the eldest of four children. His father, Brendan, works for the Irish Department of Education and his mother is a French teacher. Not only are his parents educators, but his aunts and uncles are also teachers, as was his grandfather. Musicianship also runs in the family, and Murphy started playing music and writing songs at age ten.

In mid-2004, Murphy married his long-time live-in girlfriend, Yvonne McGuinness, an artist whom he met in 1996 at one of his rock band's shows. The couple live in northwest London with their two sons Malachy (born in 2005) and Aaron (born in 2007).

Murphy is known for being reluctant to speak about his personal life. He frequently gives interviews about his work but did not appear on a single live TV chat show, where actors customarily share information about their private lives, until 2010, when he was a guest on The Late Late Show on Ireland's RTÉ to promote Perrier's Bounty. He does not have a stylist or a personal publicist, travels without an entourage, and often attends premieres alone. Shy and private, Murphy professes a lack of interest in the celebrity scene, finding the red carpet experience "a challenge... and not one I want to overcome." He intentionally practices a lifestyle that will not interest the tabloids: "I haven't created any controversy, I don't sleep around, I don't go and fall down drunk."

Murphy is friends with fellow Irish actors Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson, looking up to the latter like a "surrogate movie dad". But primarily, Murphy's close friendships are those he made before becoming a star.

YearTitleCharacterRelease Date
2017

Dunkirk

2017-07-19
2017

Free Fire

Chris2017-03-31
2017

The Party

Tom2017-02-01
2016
Operation Anthropoid
Josef Gabcík2016-10-11
2016
Anthropoid
Josef Gabčík2016-08-12
2016

Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach

2016-06-03
2015

In the Heart of the Sea

Matthew Joy2015-11-20
2015

Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth

Himself - Narrator2015-08-31
2014
Lennon or McCartney
Himself (archive footage)2014-12-12
2014
Transcendence
Agent Donald Buchanan2014-04-16
2014
Aloft
Ivan2014-02-12
2012
Broken
Mike Kiernan2012-08-22
2012
The Dark Knight Rises
Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow2012-07-16
2012
Red Lights
Tom Buckley2012-03-02
2011
In Time
Timekeeper Raymond Leon2011-10-27
2011
Retreat
Martin2011-10-14
2010
TRON: Legacy
Edward Dillinger2010-12-10
2010
Inception
Robert Fischer2010-07-14
2010
Peacock
John Skillpa2010-04-20
2009
Perrier’s Bounty
Michael McCrea2009-09-11
2009
The Water
Son2009-06-04
2008
The Dark Knight
Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow2008-07-16
2008
The Edge of Love
William Killick2008-05-15
2007
Watching the Detectives
Neil2007-05-01
2007
Sunshine
Robert Capa2007-04-05
2006
The Silent City
Unnamed Character2006-10-01
2006
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Damien O'Donovan2006-05-18
2005
Breakfast on Pluto
Patrick 'Kitten' Braden2005-09-03
2005
Red Eye
Jackson Rippner2005-08-04
2005
Batman Begins
Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow2005-06-14
2003
Cold Mountain
Bardolph2003-12-24
2003
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Pieter2003-08-31
2003
Intermission
John2003-08-29
2002
28 Days Later...
Jim2002-10-31
2002
How Harry Became a Tree
Gus2002-03-01
2001
The Way We Live Now
Paul Montague2001-11-11
2001
Disco Pigs
Pig / Darren2001-10-05
2001
On the Edge
Jonathan Breech2001-08-10
2001
Watchmen
Phil2001-06-04
2000
A Man of Few Words
Best Man2000-06-04
2000
Filleann an Feall
Ger2000-06-04
1999
Sunburn
Davin McDerby1999-12-12
1999
Eviction
Brendan McBride1999-12-02
1999
The Trench
Rag Rookwood1999-09-17
1999
At Death's Door
Young Reaper1999-06-04
1999
Sweety Barrett
Pat the Barman1999-04-16