Cillian Murphy: Irish Are Kinder, More Understanding

Cillian Murphy's Multifaceted Career Beyond Acting

by Nouman Rasool
Cillian Murphy: Irish Are Kinder, More Understanding
© Lia Toby/GettyImages

Cillian Murphy, known for his acting prowess, is also gaining recognition for his musical radio series, "Cillian Murphy’s Limited Edition," which airs on BBC Radio 6 Music every Sunday evening. Despite his busy schedule as a member of the striking US actors union SAG-AFTRA, Murphy is passionate about sharing his love for music on the radio.

In his show, Murphy curates a diverse selection of music, spanning from obscure hip-hop to contemporary folk and rare soul performances. He incorporates readings from talented writers like PJ Harvey, Ben Lerner, Jarvis Cocker, and Sinéad Gleeson, while also offering his own thoughtful insights and observations.

Music has always held a special place in Murphy's heart, as he confesses, "Music was my first love. I had ambitions to be a musician way before I ever thought about becoming an actor." Growing up in Cork, Ireland, Murphy was exposed to a rich musical environment, attending traditional Irish music sessions with his parents and discovering iconic bands like The Beatles through his dad's influence.

He initially aspired to be a drummer but ended up playing the guitar and formed a band called "The Sons of Mr Green Genes" with his brother. Their band gained recognition in the vibrant Cork music scene of the 1990s, where creativity and collaboration flourished among local artists and bands like The Sultans of Ping and The Frank and Walters.

Musical Journey's Lifelong Impact

Murphy reflects on his musical journey, emphasizing the valuable life skills he gained from being in a band, including teamwork, creativity on a budget, and conflict resolution. He also credits his experience in music for helping him become a better performer on stage and in theater, where he transitioned after his band declined a record deal.

Today, Murphy hosts his radio show from his home in Dublin, sharing his musical discoveries with a growing audience. He describes the process as akin to creating mixtapes, carefully selecting tracks that flow seamlessly to tell a story.

Despite the availability of online music streaming, Murphy believes that curated shows like his offer a personal touch that algorithms can't replicate, providing a sense of connection and shared passion for music. Beyond his radio career, Murphy is involved in promoting empathy training in schools, recognizing the importance of empathy in acting and in life.

He values art as a means to make sense of the world and finds solace in creating a gentle and uplifting radio show, especially in today's challenging times. In the end, Cillian Murphy's love for music continues to inspire his creative endeavors, and he remains grounded in humility and a deep appreciation for the artists who have influenced him along the way.