5’ 9” (1.75 m)
Yvonne McGuinness (1 August 2004 - present) 2 children
Bright blue eyes and prominent cheek bones
His father is a school inspector and his mother is a French teacher.
He schooled at Presentation Brothers College Cork.
Has a younger brother, Páidi, a design engineer.
Son Carrick Murphy was born in July, 2007.
Lives in London, England.
He used to play in a Frank Zappa-influenced band called ‘Sons of Mr. Greengenes’ with his brother.
Has two sisters, Sile and Orla.
First name pronounced “Kill-ian”. Not “Sil-ian”.
He was planning a career in law until he discovered the world of acting.
Although he is a vegetarian, he learned to chop up meat in an abattoir for his role as butcher in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003).
Auditioned for the role of Batman in Batman Begins (2005). The role was eventually given to Christian Bale. But director Christopher Nolan liked Cillian’s audition so much that he gave him a role as Batman’s enemy Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow, who is a developing character in this movie.
He was the oldest of four children.
Proposed to wife while hill-walking in Ireland.
Son Malachy Murphy was born December 4th, 2005, weighing 7 pounds and 5 ounces.
As of 2006 he is the most nominated Irish Actor at the Irish Film and Television Awards with 6 nominations.
He greatly admires actor Liam Neeson. Looks at him as a surrogate movie dad.
He is fluent in French and Irish.
Had been pegged to play the lead in the independent movie, “Once.” This did not materialize when he was hired for another project. Instead, the role went to Glen Hansard, the person who created the songs for the film.
“I’d probably have been wealthier if I had stayed with law, but pretty miserable doing it.”
“It’s basically lazy journalism if they say I’m the new Colin Farrell. This thing about heat, it’s all just hot air”.
“You’re an actor who’s Irish, not an Irish actor. And you shouldn’t be limited by your extraction.” On breaking the Irish type cast
“Well, the first part of the question, I think if you ask any male if you really want to get into a real suit, that was a dream come true obviously and then just to get to work with Chris even for that little test was amazing as well and then I don’t know, he saw something in it that he thought maybe he could use for the other characters” - On auditioning for Batman Begins (2005).
“I can have a bit of fun with it, too, because my only motivation really is being bad. I love doing proper dramatic character studies, but it’s also good to have a but of fun, dress up and stuff”. - On accepting the role of the Scarecrow in Batman Begins (2005).
“If there’s an opportunity to work with Ken Loach, you can’t really turn that down. He’s made some of the finest films of the past 25 years. Whether you like or dislike his movies, there’s never a bad performance in them, ever. There’s none of the bullshit. There’s no trailers, no nonsense, no pampering. It’s a breath of fresh air.”
“It’s easy to take the check, you know, but if you want to have any longevity, just take things that have artistic merit in them. I want to do quality. If it’s good telly, I’ll do it. If it’s good theater, I’ll do it.”
I’ve a very, very close-knit group of friends from Ireland. They and my family are the most important things to me.
“I don’t know if anyone will ever sit beside me on a plane again.” - on his role as a terrorist in Red Eye (2005)
“Journalists have a myopic view of your versatility. They’re like ‘You only play the creep’.”
“If you behave like a celebrity, then people will treat you like a celebrity, and if you don’t, they won’t. There’s not much to write about me in the tabloids.”
“Today I pick and choose my films very carefully. There’s nothing I’ve done so far that I can’t talk about with commitment and passion.”
“But you can make wonderful films within a small, independent environment and you can make wonderful films in Los Angeles, within the studio system. You hear a lot of actors saying, ‘I’d never go to Hollywood and sell out.’ But, if it’s a good script and a good director, why not? To shut oneself off completely is, I think, very limiting.”
Too many filmmakers today are trying to put their work into a box. I can’t stand that! Making movies is a lot of work. Let’s take some risks.
“To me, someone’s sexuality is usually the least interesting thing about them. It’s secondary. The only reason it becomes a source for dramatic storytelling is because people have made such an issue out of it.” (about his character in Breakfast on Pluto)
I’m not worried about being pegged, but it’s important for me to knock down any perceptions of me that are out there.
“I think there’s such a thing, as a performance gene. If it’s in your DNA it needs to come out. For me it originally came out through music, then segued into acting and came out through there. I always needed to get up and perform.”