Emily Blunt has revealed the striking transformation her Oppenheimer co-star Cillian Murphy underwent to portray J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist often referred to as the "father of the atomic bomb." Speaking in an interview published by Extra on July 7, Blunt, who shared the screen with Murphy as his on-screen wife Kitty Oppenheimer, painted a picture of an intensely dedicated actor who ventured to extreme lengths to accurately embody his character.
"Cillian had a massive responsibility," Blunt elaborated, "and he was subsisting on little more than an almond daily. His weight loss was drastic to the point of emaciation."
Murphy's Dedication to Physicality
Indeed, Murphy had previously confessed his commitment to a strict dietary regime, with the express goal of capturing Oppenheimer's distinct physicality.
As reported by the New York Times in May, Murphy said, "I greatly enjoy the challenge of physically portraying a character, and Oppenheimer's characteristic physique and silhouette was something I wanted to nail." The renowned actor further detailed the physical demands the role required, saying, "I had to shed a significant amount of weight.
Coupled with tailored costuming, the aim was to present as a slim, almost skeletal figure, a man living on martinis and cigarettes." However, Murphy, the celebrated star of Peaky Blinders, cautioned against emulating his rigorous process.
"You end up in a competition with yourself, which isn't healthy," he told The Guardian in July, firmly advising against such extreme measures. On the topic of his weight loss, Murphy chose not to disclose any specifics, stating, "I'd rather it not be about 'Cillian lost x weight for the part.'
" Adding to his intense physical transformation, Murphy also mentioned how the high-tempo filming process played a significant role in enabling him to fully embody his character. Describing his experience, he told reporters, "It was like being on a speeding train, one scene after another.
It was a few hours of sleep, then back to work." He continued, "I was functioning on an incredible adrenaline high, crossing a threshold where concerns about food or any other mundane matter ceased to matter. The character was the same. He barely ate, and in a way, it all tied together."