Hollywood star Cillian Murphy revealed that he has become prouder to be an Irish actor as he has gotten older.
Murphy, who has starred in huge movies such as the Dark Knight Trilogy, 28 Days Later and Inception, says that when he started out he wanted to prove himself to the American and British film industries.
The star has recently moved back to Ireland from London, where he had lived since 2001. During that time, he has become a huge star on both sides of the Atlantic.
However, since he has achieved success he has started to think more and more about what it means to him to be an Irish actor.
Murphy said: “When I was younger, I really wanted to be an actor first, and Irish second. I wanted to do American films, and do an American accent, and a British accent, and show that I can do that. But as I get older I think it doesn’t matter.
“I’m very proud of being an Irish actor. It’s a smaller industry, but I’m really proud to support it.”
Murphy’s latest film – Dunkirk – is out now and he has another big movie, The Delinquent Season, coming out later in the year.
With such a busy schedule he admits that he finds little time to stop and contemplate the level of success he has achieved during his career.
He said; “It’s silly to look back if you want to keep working. I don’t even go back and look at performances. You have to learn up here. Your next job should always be your best performance — that’s what I want it to be, anyway.
“It’s fine to look back if you want to retire, but I still feel young and I still have a lot of energy.”
Dunkirk tells the story of the Dunkirk Evacuation during World War Two. In 1940, France fell to Germany and thousands of Allied soldiers were surrounded by the Germans. They were stranded in Dunkirk in northern France – just 26 miles away from the UK across the sea.
Murphy only plays a small part in the movie but was happy to take the role as it was a chance to renew a working relationship with a director he admires greatly – Christopher Nolan.
Murphy said: “Christopher Nolan is one of the greatest living directors, and you want to work with the best.
“You can see the evolution in his films: the way he tells the non-linear nature of his storytelling has become more sophisticated and honed. The way three different storylines [of air, land and sea] intersect is genius, and the way he asks the audience to keep up is so clever.”
The pair have a mutual respect and Nolan described Murphy ‘one of the great actors of his generation’.
The acclaimed director added: “Though he was just very happy we didn’t put a sack over his head, because we’ve done three films where we’ve made him put a sack over his head.
“I’ve known him since before he had kids and now he’s got a 12-year-old. He’s an extraordinary presence.
“In the case of this film, he was very generous with me, because I sent him a script where his character was very unfinished, and he very politely asked me about that. I said I knew how to complete the character according to the usual Hollywood rhythm, but I wanted to do something that’s more truthful. So I needed an actor who will take it on trust, and get on that boat and figure something out.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling