Christopher Nolan Was Working Cillian Murphy Super Hard On Oppenheimer. The Sweet Way Robert Downey Jr. Advocated For Him

For roughly 20 years, Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy have been working together. From 2005’s Batman Begins to Oppenheimer, the king of the 2024 Oscar Nominees, actor and director have made quite a run of films that spans genres and performances. This year’s Best Picture-competing heavyweight was a singular challenge for both Nolan and Murphy, and in seeing how hard the Peaky Blinders actor was working, co-star Robert Downey Jr. was inspired to advocate on his behalf. 

In an extensive profile interview conducted by Deadline, the story of how Christopher Nolan first discovered his future collaborator revealed a promo photo from 28 Days Later to be the lure. The rest was history, as Cillian Murphy’s desire to be a “leading man” turned into the tremendous success that is his performance in Oppenheimer. This, in turn, let to Nolan’s admission of how their running relationship led to those concerns voiced by Robert Downey Jr.: 

For me, particularly with such a big cast, Cillian was the element I was able to completely take for granted to the point where on Downey’s last day, he came up to me and said, ‘Do you understand how hard this guy is working for you?’ It was towards the end of the shoot. He was like, ‘He’s exhausted.’

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