Christopher Nolan's Heartfelt Note to Cillian Murphy on 'Oppenheimer' Script

Murphy's Role in Nolan's Film Marks a Career Milestone.

by Nouman Rasool
Christopher Nolan's Heartfelt Note to Cillian Murphy on 'Oppenheimer' Script
© Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Speaking to "60 Minutes" in an interview, an actor whom many respect very much, Cillian Murphy, extolled about his lead role in the film done by Christopher Nolan, "Oppenheimer." In that interview, one sees him holding a copy of the script that Nolan uses, printed on red paper with black ink, as an anti-copying measure.

Written in, a personal note from Nolan: "Dearest Cillian. Finally, a chance to see you lead… Love, Chris." This partnership between Nolan and Murphy works across nearly two decades and six films, including the remarkable Batman trilogy to "Inception," "Dunkirk," and now "Oppenheimer." Remarkably, it is "Oppenheimer" where Murphy takes the center stage donning his first leading role in a Nolan-helmed film.

Speaking to the Associated Press last summer, Murphy said in a quote, "I have always said publicly and privately to Chris, that if I'm available and you want me to be in a movie, I'm there. I don't really care about the size of the part," he admitted.

"But in my secret heart of hearts, I had been wishing for a lead for him."

Oppenheimer's Humble Beginnings

This humble beginning to "Oppenheimer" is from that simple phone call from Nolan that changes everything. "And he's so underplayed and modest and, in his very English way, said, 'Listen, I've written this script, it's about Oppenheimer.

I'd like you to be my Oppenheimer.' " Then he further went on to say, "Awesome day … We've had this long-standing relationship, and understanding, and trust, and shorthand and respect. So, it felt like the right time to take on a bigger responsibility.

And it just so happened that it was a huge one." But Murphy's being able to take on that huge a role was only bolstered by the fact that he felt he could trust Nolan fully in guiding him within it, believing in his art. "You know you're with one of the great directors of all time," he said of sharing his professional and creative respect for Nolan.

"Oppenheimer" not only paraded Murphy's outstanding talent but also made box office records, raking in over $950 million worldwide and therefore turning out to be the highest-grossing biographical movie of all time. Murphy's character is a front-running contender to win the Best Actor award, having already been victorious at the Golden Globes and the BAFTA Film Awards.

Christopher Nolan