"Cillian Murphy, who has angelic looks that can turn sinister, is one of the most elegantly seductive monsters in recent movies."Cillian Murphy is an Irish actor known mostly for three things. First, his chameleon-like ability to adapt to a wide variety of roles and seem to inhabit them. Second, his amazingly blue eyes, and third, being extremely pretty. He was born on May 25, 1976 and started his career in entertainment as a rock musician. Cillian is a rather private fellow, and he doesn't normally discuss his personal life in interviews.
— David Denby, The New Yorker review of Red Eye
A sampling of the works he has been in:
- Disco Pigs
- 28 Days Later
- Girl with a Pearl Earring (He was cast as a butcher, which is quite ironic, because he's a vegetarian)
- The Way We Live Now
- Batman Begins (With cameo appearances in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises)
- Red Eye
- Breakfast on Pluto
- The Wind That Shakes the Barley
- Perrier's Bounty
- Watching the Detectives
- TRON: Legacy (uncredited cameo)
- In Time
- Red Lights
- Peaky Blinders
He provides examples of:
- Doing It for the Art: He has said this is the Number One reason he does many of his films and he almost never does it for money.
- Dyeing for Your Art
- For certain roles, he's often lost and gained weight to look convincing as a certain character.
- For Sunshine, he underwent astronaut and stunt training, along with taking certain science courses to get into his physicist character.
- For Breakfast on Pluto, he often hung out with transgender people and did research on women's beauty regimens.
- For Peaky Blinders, he shaved his head into the signature hairstyle◊ of Tommy Shelby and hit the gym to put on 15 pounds of muscle. He's quite vocal about how much he hates the hairstyle, but with a third season on the way, he admits he's going to have to get used to it.
- Fake American: In quite a few of his roles. He does the accent very well, especially considering how notoriously hard the Irish Accent is to shed.
- Fake Brit: His Birmingham accent in Peaky Blinders was shaky during the first season, but spot-on in season two.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Just look at the page picture!
- One of Us: Was a fan of Batman long before auditioning for Batman Begins, and he describes himself as an "avid gamer". He's also stated excitement for Peter Capaldi's casting for Doctor Who.
- Promoted Fanboy: He's stated he was a big fan of the first TRON movie. He later got a cameo on TRON: Legacy.
- Self-Deprecation: When asked how he would've portrayed Batman, he laughed and said, "Come on, do I really look like Batman material to you?"
- According to one fan that met him, she complimented him and called him attractive, earning her a look of surprise from him.
- Type Casting: After Batman Begins and Red Eye came out in the same year and became Star Making Roles for him, he became best known to mainstream movie goers for playing incredibly creepy villains. He's sworn off playing villains (antiheroes like Tommy Shelby don't count!) again, however, in the hopes of averting this.
- Meanwhile, in most of his more independent productions, he's known for playing everyman type characters.