Cillian Murphy reacts to his first best actor Oscar nomination for ‘Oppenheimer’

Cillian Murphy reacts to his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for 'Oppenheimer'
Credit: @OppenheimerFilm/X

Within minutes of the 96th Academy Awards nominations being revealed, the entire entertainment industry was on their toes to know who made it to the list. Reactions from all the prominent celebrities who have won awards in other awards ceremonies within the last few weeks for various categories started to pour in as they shared their excitement for achieving such a career-defining moment. But there is one such Oscar nomination that has been making the most noise when compared to others.

Yes! It is none other than the “Best Actor” category, for which the winners will be announced during the awards ceremony on March 10, 2024, on ABC. This is the nomination list, apart from the best actress category, that has gotten the most attention from viewers over the years. This time around, the competition has been fierce, as the list includes some of the best performances portrayed by the following five nominees, as seen last year on the big screen, which include:

  • Bradley Cooper – Maestro as Leonard Bernstein
  • Colman Domingo – Rustin as Bayard Rustin
  • Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers as Paul Hunhaml
  • Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer as J. Robert Oppenheimer
  • Jeffrey Wright – American Fiction as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison 

Out of these nominated actors, Cillian Murphy, 47, who portrayed J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan’s $955 million worldwide film, Oppenheimer, has been making the most waves across the internet. After all, the Irish actor has already bagged a Golden Globe award, “Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama” for portraying the title role, and receiving his first nomination for an Academy Award with a career spanning more than 20 years makes his chances of winning even more possible. 

Due to this, fans are excited to hear their idol’s thoughts on the nomination. In an exclusive conversation with Deadline,  just after the nominations were announced on Tuesday, Murphy who was at the time at his parents’ house in Ireland expressed his heartfelt thanks, quote: “I feel really privileged and I feel really lucky to be in a film that’s connected with people in a way that it has critically and commercially.”

He also says, “To be in a film that people have seen three and four and five times and they come up to you and tell you that…”

When asked about the enormity of getting an Oscar nomination he says: “I don’t think you would have believed it or seen it as a possibility or anything like that.”  The actor further adds, “I just wanted to make theater and make good theater, and then you do a small part in a short film and then a small part in a film — we’ve talked about this really gradual process and I think that’s why I’m able to deal with it and able to enjoy it.” 

“I’m like 48 and I’ve seen a lot and been doing it for 28 years now, so I think I can understand how significant it is to me and how meaningful it is to me and to other people… You know, it’s been a long time in the business. I think as a youngster it just didn’t seem a possibility anything like this.”

During the award ceremony season, Oppenheimer has received the most nominations and so far the film’s accolades, including five Golden Globe Awards as well as a leading 13 nominations each at the British Academy Film Awards. Now, the film has received 13 nominations, including one for Best Film and Best Picture, followed by Poor Things and Killers of the Flower Moon with 11 and 10, respectively, for the Academy Awards, once again making it receive the most nominations.

The biographical film is based on the 2005 biography American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, it has also received critical acclaim and was named one of the top-ten films of 2023 by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. The film chronicles the career of Oppenheimer, with the story predominantly focusing on his studies, his direction of the Manhattan Project during World War II, and his eventual fall from grace due to his 1954 security hearing. 

Apart from starring Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American theoretical physicist credited with being the “father of the atomic bomb” for his role in the Manhattan Project—the World War II undertaking that developed the first nuclear weapons. 

The film also stars Emily Blunt as Oppenheimer’s wife “Kitty”, Matt Damon as head of the Manhattan Project Leslie Groves, Robert Downey Jr. as United States Atomic Energy Commission member Lewis Strauss, and Florence Pugh as Oppenheimer’s communist lover Jean Tatlock. The ensemble supporting cast includes Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek, and Kenneth Branagh. Editing of the film was handled by Jennifer Lame, and the score was composed by Ludwig Göransson. 

Watch the official trailer below: 

Oppenheimer | New Trailer

Oppenheimer will be available for streaming in the U.S. exclusively on Peacock and in Canada on Amazon Prime Video on February 16, 2024. The film has also been released on 4K Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray and DVD formats including digital.