Cillian Murphy Criticizes Hollywood Press Tours as 'Broken', Calls Them Boring

Exploring Cillian Murphy's Unique Take on Acting and Fame

by Nouman Rasool
Cillian Murphy Criticizes Hollywood Press Tours as 'Broken', Calls Them Boring
© Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Just when Hollywood's award season buzz usually picks up a whirlwind, it's an acclaimed actor of the highly anticipated 'Oppenheimer', Cillian Murphy, who is raising a conversation over the very state of film promotion today.

With Murphy in strong contention for best actor and the Oscars hanging in the balance, his thoughts and acute observations certainly point to a new take on the usual press tour. Murphy, who will be on the March 2024 cover of GQ, weighed in on film promotion in an industry where it's typically done through red-carpet interviews and press junkets.

He spoke clearly in his interview, "I think it's a broken model. The model is—everybody is so bored." That's not only a clear challenge to the status quo but underlines another growing sentiment within the industry. Interestingly, Murphy points out the silver lining of the recent SAG-AFTRA strike that put a temporary halt to these press tours.

He goes on to say that box office success was found by both 'Oppenheimer' and 'Barbie' despite the absence of the traditional promotional machine. This mirrors his earlier experience with 'Peaky Blinders', which only found success through word of mouth, with very little advertising during its first three runs on BBC Two.

Murphy: Art over Intimacy

A thoughtful actor, noted for his approach to the craft, he also quoted Joanne Woodward's comparison of acting with an act more intimate: "Acting is like s-- - do it, don't talk about it." Murphy himself has been noted for his reservations about talking about his personal life in interviews.

"People have always used to say to me, 'He has his reservations' or 'He's a difficult interviewee.' Not really," he says. "I love talking about work, about art. In addition, Murphy is another candid aspect, admitting to having watched his own films only on few occasions, especially to view the ones that do not do well with the audience and the critics.

He candidly reflects on the 2005 thriller "Red Eye" directed by Wes Craven and co-starring Rachel McAdams. Having said that, he terms the film a "good B movie," although he admits it was an enjoyable exercise. As the film industry continued to change, Murphy's reflections produced a unique insight into what were the personal experiences of actors within such a shifting landscape and how the dynamics changed how movies were promoted.