Cillian Murphy finds being photographed ‘offensive’: ‘It fetishises everything’

‘You can be walking down the street and someone takes a picture like this is a f***ing event,” Irish actor said

Inga Parkel
Thursday 11 May 2023 05:41 BST
Cillian Murphy chats about working with Christopher Nolan for fifth time in Dunkirk

Cillian Murphy has opened up about his complicated relationship with fame, saying that it can “ruin experiences”.

The 46-year-old Irish actor is best known for starring in several Christopher Nolan films, including The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Dunkirk, and his forthcoming drama Oppenheimer. Yet it was perhaps his most recent turn leading BBC’s drama Peaky Blinders for six seasons that he’s become a global phenomenon and a recognisable face.

“It can ruin experiences because it fetishises everything,” Murphy said of fame in a new interview with Rolling Stone UK. “You can be walking down the street and someone takes a picture like this is a f***ing event.

“I don’t like being photographed by people. I find that offensive. If I was a woman, and it was a man photographing me...,” he added.

Comparing fame to commuting, he said: “You have to commute to get to your destination.

“I think that’s the way the best people are: they’re not doing it for any other reason but love of the craft. They have a compulsion to make work, not to be famous or get attention.”

Continuing, he argued that “fame evaporates with regularity”.

“I’m around here all the time and no one gives a f***ing s***. Nobody cares. I go to the shop. It dissipates. But if… one of the guys from Succession walked in here, I’d be all intimidated and shaky. When you’re confronted with someone you’ve invested a lot in, or you think is amazing, the encounter is strange.”

Cillian Murphy in ‘Peaky Blinders’ (ROBERT VIGLASKY PHOTOGRAPHY)

Murphy said he’s often stopped by Peaky Blinders fans, who “expect this mysterious, swaggering” like his character Tommy Shelby.

“I do feel people are a little bit underwhelmed. That’s fine, it means I’m doing my job,” he admitted. “But sometimes I feel a little sad that I can’t provide – like – that charisma and swagger. He couldn’t be further from me.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Murphy discussed his views on religion.

“I have no problem with people having faith” he said. “But I don’t like it being imposed. When it’s imposed, it causes harm. That’s where I have an issue.

“So, I don’t want to go around bashing the good things about institutionalised religion, because there are some. But when it gets twisted and fucked-up, like it did in our country, and imposed on a nation, that’s an issue.”

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