“Has he never heard of Leonardo DiCaprio?”: Christopher Nolan’s Bold Compliment For Cillian Murphy Pisses Off Christian Bale and Leo’s Fans

Christopher Nolan calling Cillian Murphy the best of his generation has started another internet war.

“Has he never heard of Leonardo DiCaprio?”: Christopher Nolan’s Bold Compliment For Cillian Murphy Pisses Off Christian Bale and Leo’s Fans


  • There is no doubt that Cillian Murphy was absolutely exceptional in Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer'.
  • And so while accepting his first DGA award for Oppenheimer, Nolan praised Murphy for being the best actor of his generation.
  • While many fans agreed with his statement, fans of Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio were highly offended.
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Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy have created their own history through their award-winning film Oppenheimer. A critical, commercial, and cinematic masterpiece, the Oscar-nominated movie has been garnering rounds for the huge number of accolades it has been nominated for and has already won.

Cillian Murphy in and as Oppenheimer
Cillian Murphy in and as Oppenheimer

But last night, another revered award was added to its collection in the form of the top prize at the Directors Guild of America Awards. Nolan, after being nominated 5 times over the years, finally won his first-ever DGA Award. But it wasn’t the esteemed director’s achievement that caught fans’ attention but rather his acceptance speech which contained some bold praises for Cillian Murphy.

His high-sounding praise eventually angered the many fans of Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale, two most revered actors in the film industry who have previously worked with Nolan in critically acclaimed projects.


Christopher Nolan Labels Cillian Murphy The Best Of His Generation

Christopher Nolan. Image Credit: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Christopher Nolan (Image Credit: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)

Christopher Nolan finally took home the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film at the Directors Guild of America Awards 2024 for Oppenheimer. His first ever DGA award, the win has ascertained that the director will potentially bag the best director award at the Oscars as well since the DGA has for years served as a barometer for the Academy Awards (via Deadline).

And it was Cillian Murphy who presented him with the award, an apparent full-circle moment since it was in no small part due to Murphy that their 6th collaboration (Oppenheimer) went on to become as big as it is now. Expressing his thanks while accepting the award, Nolan also shared a small accolade from his history with Murphy (via X),

“I can’t believe its 20 years since we started on this journey together. Which means it’s about 15 years since I woke up a little hungover and said to [my wife] Emma, ‘Did I go up to Cillian last night and say, You’re the best actor of your generation?'”

This wasn’t the first time Nolan referred to his frequent collaborator as the best actor of his generation, for previously too he had expressed similar sentiments in an interview with the LA Times. However, this time, his bold and high praise for Cillian Murphy has angered a lot of fans for apparently exaggerating when it comes to selecting the best actor of Murphy’s generation.


Fans Angry Over Christopher Nolan’s Astounding Praise For Cillian Murphy

DiCaprio and Bale's fans are angry over Nolan's comments
DiCaprio’s and Bale’s fans are angry over Nolan’s comments

There is no question that what Cillian Murphy did in Oppenheimer was pure work of magic. An exceptional performance that rightly deserves every accolade it can get and every praise it can garner, there is no one who could have portrayed Oppenheimer as well as Murphy did.

Yet, when it comes to the pool of talent in Hollywood (or the rest of the cinematic world), there are numerous exceptional actors who might not have shined as brightly as Murphy as Oppenheimer but they have shined just as brightly in other roles, roles that cannot be justly compared.

So, when Chris Nolan recently praised and referred to Murphy as the best actor of his generation, fans, especially those of Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio (who have worked with Nolan already), were angered by Nolan’s tall praise for Murphy. And this is how many of them reacted on the internet:




While, many fans agreed with Nolan’s statement, his words nonetheless kicked off another internet war. Many fans also reckoned that Nolan’s opinion was biased since he was the one who directed him and had only cast a small number of actors in his decade-long career to give such a verdict. Yet, these sentiments are subjective and by no means definitive, and it is perfectly fine to disagree with Nolan while also respecting the director’s opinions.

Meanwhile, Oppenheimer can be rented on Amazon Prime.


Written by Maria Sultan

Articles Published: 1252

Maria Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. Having honed her skills are a Freelance and Professional content writer for more than 5 years (and counting), her expertise spans various genres and content type. A Political Science and History Graduate, her deep interest in the world around shapes her writing, blending her insights across diverse themes.

Outside the realm of writing, Maria can be often found buried in the world of books or pursuing art or engaged in fervent discussions about anything or everything, her passions balanced by binge watching Kdramas, Anime, Movies or Series during leisure hours.