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“I shouldn’t look like a skinny Irish fella”: Cillian Murphy Was Forced to Break His 15 Years of Personal Choice for ‘Peaky Blinders’ That Made Him a Global Icon

“I shouldn’t look like a skinny Irish fella”: Cillian Murphy Was Forced to Break His 15 Years of Personal Choice for ‘Peaky Blinders’ That Made Him a Global Icon

When a 20-year-old Ireland native born and brought up in a family of academicians and scholars flunked and dropped out of law school to pursue acting of all things, Cillian Murphy’s family was shocked, to put it mildly. A decade later, they couldn’t be prouder of him. 

As the actor shuns his undercut and the Scarecrow mask to don the responsibility of portraying the man who forever reshaped the evolutionary course of humankind, the fans look back at simpler times that defined and hardened the young and aspiring actor from Douglas, Ireland into becoming one of the most enigmatic actors of the modern era.

Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders
Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders

Also read: “I don’t actually want to read the script”: Cillian Murphy Accepted Christopher Nolan’s Offer in $1B Movie to Shoot His Favorite Scene to Avoid Spoilers

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Cillian Murphy’s Craft Impresses Hollywood Filmmakers

While Peaky Blinders definitely led him on the path to global stardom and unbridled fame, Cillian Murphy’s raw and biting beauty lies in his ability to manipulate the threads of the story happening around him, even when he is not at the front and center of the narrative, and somehow make it entirely his own. Christopher Nolan recognized that potential in the Irish actor and used him in whatever scraps and bits and pieces of screen time he could find to spare. Until – well, Oppenheimer.

In television, Steven Knight saw the same thing Nolan did and implemented it to his advantage over six beautifully curated seasons of the BBC series. But while Cillian Murphy is a world-class introvert, his characters presented on the screen are anything but that. And in order to live up to the potential that these filmmakers found in him, there have been occasions when he has had to go against his own practices and convert his beliefs, for whatever short amount of time.

Cillian Murphy in The Dark Knight Rises
Cillian Murphy in The Dark Knight Rises

Also read: “Why the f–k I was studying law?”: Cillian Murphy Went Against Parents to Pursue Acting, Proved Them Wrong by Becoming Hollywood’s Leading Man With $20M Fortune

Cillian Murphy Temporarily Converts From Vegetarianism

Cillian Murphy’s definitive cheekbones that are sharper than a knife and his perfectly framed face have definitely helped him get the cinematic look fit for the silver screens, but as Christopher Nolan claims, his “crazy eyes” were the first that caught the director extraordinaire’s attention, thus setting the pair on a life-long commitment to each other on and off the screens. But for someone like Nolan to see the genius encompassed within the actor, there had to be a quality beyond his alluring physicality because well, beauty is only skin deep and all that.

Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders
Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders

Also read: “I’m not a tough guy at all”: Cillian Murphy Was Pushed to His Limits by Peaky Blinders, Found it Extremely Difficult Despite Working With Christopher Nolan Before

According to the actor, however, the circle of life only goes so far. Over the course of filming Peaky Blinders, Murphy has had to put on considerable weight to play the part of Tommy Shelby.

“I was vegetarian for about 15 years [out of fear] about getting mad cow disease […] For the first series of ‘Peaky Blinders,’ they were anxious that I shouldn’t look like a skinny Irish fella, and my trainer recommended meat.”

As he goes on to regale the tales of his first bite of venison steak and how he had to keep his physique in shape for the part, the audience truly gets another look into a version of method acting that could make one force themselves out of a dietary practice they have regularly maintained for 15 long years. In 2022, however, he solemnly reported his “relapse back to vegetarianism” as Peaky Blinders came to a close with six seasons in the bag.

Peaky Blinders is now available for streaming on Netflix.

Source: Mr. Porter

Written by Diya Majumdar

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has nearly 1500 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh. Other skills include being the proud owner of an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists.