I LOVE Cillian Murphy, I just think he’s such an amazing actor and he’s just ridiculously attractive – those blue eyes are killer! I was lucky enough to get to meet him in person last Saturday night – I was in Nimmo’s restaurant here in Galway, having dinner with some friends to celebrate a birthday. A friend of ours was attending a party being held above the restaurant, and she popped down to us shortly after midnight to say Cillian Murphy had joined the party! I started having palpitations at the thought of being in the same building as the man! She suggested popping up to the party, and I decided to go for it so I went upstairs with her, and began to zealously look about for him – we spotted him and I started to have palpitations…again! I was sent to fetch my camera and once I returned to the party, I was promptly brought over to him and my photograph taken with him - excuse me for sounding like a total fanatic here, but it was ridiculously exciting! He put his arm around me and I nearly collapsed! We took a couple photos – I think I’d completely forgotten how to breathe at this point – and I just said ‘thanks very much, sorry for bothering you!’ and he was all ‘that’s fine, not a bother!’ and rubbed my back and oh my god, I just nearly died and went to heaven! I was just ridiculously excited after the event, and I still am to be honest! I think the fact that he was really nice and everything has probably helped – if he’d turned out to be an asshole, I think it might have killed me.
In any case, it cemented for me how big a fan I am of his and I’ve begun to reflect on his films – it was only when I started looking through his credits, that I remembered just how many films he’s been in. I’ve picked out a few as particular favourites.
I’ve been a fan of his since watching Disco Pigs – the film version. I’d love to have seen him in the play version, I think he’s just electric as Pig – a dreamer, who’s volatile and caught up in a world where reality and dreams intermingle until they’re indistinguishable from the other. This world is also occupied by Runt, who is much calmer and independent, and who slowly begins to see a life beyond Pig.
Elaine Cassidy gives a great performance in this as Runt, but Cillian Murphy is just unreal. There’s something so sympathetic and pleading about his performance but also something uneasy, like you just know his character cannot carry on such an existence and something has to give. It’s incredibly intense and an unforgettable performance.
The next film he worked on was 28 Days Later – a film I just love. It’s one of the very few horror films of the last decade that is genuinely scary – most of this is down to how it is shot using DV cameras, lending the zombies a much more threatening and unnerving quality.
Cillian is as always fantastic in this and even manages to rock the half-shaved-head look! I think it was probably with this film that the world began to sit up and notice him.
What I like about him is while he has starred in many big production films, he still comes back to Ireland to star in smaller productions. One of my favourites of his Irish films is Intermission – it may not be the most fantastic film ever made, but it’s very enjoyable and I could watch it a million times! He plays the straight role in it, in comparison to the more comedic turns of Colin Farrell and Shirley Henderson for example, but as ever, he’s very compelling to watch – and he looks dreamy too!
Cillian also starred in the Ken Loach film The Wind That Shakes The Barley – a film I really must watch again. I enjoyed it when I saw it in the cinema…is enjoy the right word? I found myself putting my popcorn and coke down on the ground, as it felt inappropriate somehow, given the material, to be sitting there, munching away. It’s a powerful film and Cillian proves he can lead a production of that size and gives a great performance as the conflicted Damien O’Donovan.
I’ve just thrown this film in – mainly because Cillian looks gorgeous in it and I also love the style of the film (the film itself was not that great). The Edge of Love centres on the story of Dylan Thomas and his relationship with two women, both of whom he loves in different ways. Cillian plays a soldier caught up in this mess. The film itself fails because you just can’t believe the two women could possibly love Thomas, who lacks charm and appeal – he’s a woefully underdeveloped character in the film. Cillian’s part is smaller than the trailer would lead you to believe but it’s worth watching, just to see him in uniform!
And so ends my retrospective on Cillian Murphy’s career – I must apologise for it not being an entirely serious or credible piece, I should be focusing on his acting more than his looks, but I just can’t help myself!