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“He also never appears to sleep”: Before Oppenheimer, Cillian Murphy was Frustrated with His BBC Series Character That Made Him Famous

Cillian Murphy had a tough time keeping up with the coolest character he has ever played that became an internet sensation

before oppenheimer, cillian murphy was frustrated with his bbc series character that made him famous


  • Cillian Murphy has received immense amount of praise for his acting in Peaky Blinders and his collaborations with Christopher Nolan
  • While working on the series, the actor had a tough time playing Thomas Shelby, who is a character that never seems to rest
  • Cillian Murphy stated that filming back-to-back too for the series, sometimes became tough for him

Cillian Murphy is most definitely one of the top actors in all of Hollywood right now, for a wide variety of reasons. After all, Murphy has acted in quite a few distinct roles that set him apart from the rest.

Fans continue to be drawn by Cillian Murphy’s eyes and facial expressions, or lack thereof during key scenes in films, which further elevate him in any movie or series. He is always dedicated to his craft and it appears that did take its toll on him, especially while portraying a popular TV character.

Also read: Even Before Oscars, Cillian Murphy Has Already Won an Award for Oppenheimer

Cillian Murphy with a cigarette in Peaky Blinders
Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders

Cillian Murphy’s Role As Thomas Shelby In Peaky Blinders Exhausted Him To No End

One of Cillian Murphy’s most iconic roles is undoubtedly as Thomas Shelby in the BBC series Peaky Blinders. Spanning six seasons, Cillian Murphy became the biggest deal on television thanks to his portrayal of the complex character, as fans were completely hooked on his journey from the very beginning.

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In a 2016 interview with The Guardian, Cillian Murphy talked about his experience working on Peaky Blinders. Murphy expressed the draining nature of embodying Tommy Shelby, admitting that it was simply exhausting to get into the character:

He’s exhausting to play. I think it’s because he’s so persistent. He also never appears to sleep. He never says ‘f*** it’ and gives up. Tommy is a wonderful character, yet he wears me down. I’m completely exhausted.”

The demanding nature of Peaky Blinders‘ production further contributes to Murphy’s fatigue, with intense shootings involving long hours and extensive dialogue. Murphy detailed his incredibly draining schedule during the filming process for Peaky Blinders.

You go home to your little apartment at the end of the day and eat for subsistence, study the lines for the next day, and attempt to get as much sleep as you can. That’s not much. Then you get back up and do it again..”

Clearly, Cillian Murphy had to work extremely hard to properly portray the role of Thomas Shelby to the best of his degree. Thanks to his great work, clearly fans became more and more into his work as an actor in general.


Also read: Christopher Nolan Gives His Fans a Peek Behind the Curtain As Oppenheimer Aims To Finish With a Billion Dollar Box Office Bang

Cillian Murphy shocked in Peaky Blinders
A scene from Peaky Blinders

Cillian Murphy’s Oppenheimer Ruled The Box Office This Year

Cillian Murphy ruled the roost in 2023, as his role as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer completely stole the show for many. Apart from Oscar-worthy performances from Murphy and Robert Downey Jr., the film was a hit critically and commercially as well.

According to Box Office Mojo, Oppenheimer has earned almost $950 million in the Box Office so far, breaking many milestones for Christopher Nolan. It also has a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes to boot, making it one of the best-reviewed films of this year.

Cillian Murphy looking on
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

All in all, Cillian Murphy will continue to have a terrific career in Hollywood, as he has more projects lined up which will no doubt make fans glad they watched his movies in the first place. We’ll have to see what’s next in store for him.

Also read: “Audiences are looking for things”: Christopher Nolan Explains Why Oppenheimer Became a Massive Success in Muscle-Flexing Move to Become Hollywood’s Savior

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Written by Subhojeet

I am a writer at FandomWire. A lover and expert in all things movies, games, TV shows, music and more. I've been in the writing business for over five years now, covering various topics all over the world. I love engaging in deep conversations with like-minded people.