Tuesday 21 October 2014

I almost became a lawyer - Cillian Murphy

By Cormac McQuinn

Published 21/07/2014 | 07:51

Cillian Murphy. Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty

Irish star Cillian Murphy has revealed he wanted to be a lawyer before he became an actor and that he once auditioned to play Batman.

The 38-year-old Corkman, who is touring Ireland with the acclaimed stage play Ballyturk, told how he could have been working in courts rather than in theatres and film studios.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley star said he was studying law at University College Cork before he dropped out to pursue a career in the world of acting.

When he told his parents of his decision, "it wasn't a happy moment in our family history", he said.

Murphy got involved in acting in college and said he "failed gloriously" in his law course.

He said it was "so clearly the wrong choice" from the very first day.

He said that an offer of a record deal for a band he played with - which they later turned down - and a play he was starring in led him to think that "this is a clear signal you shouldn't become a solicitor".

success

He soon found success, appearing in late 90s Irish film Disco Pigs and Danny Boyle's violent horror flick 28 Days Later in 2002.

While the actor is known for his roles in smaller independent films, he made appearances in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy as the villainous Dr Jonathan Crane and his alter-ego Scarecrow.

While he was cast as the bad-guy, he had originally auditioned to be the Caped Crusader himself - a part that ultimately went to English actor Christian Bale.

"Absurdly, I tried out for the role of Batman," said Murphy, adding that the director told him: "You're not quite right."

"I know I'm not!" he replied, but was then offered the other part.

On the death of his Dark Knight co-star Heath Ledger from a prescription drug overdose in 2008, Murphy said: "I still really haven't got over that."

Praising the late actor, he said his performance as the evil Joker was "one for the gods".

Murphy, who lives in London with his wife Yvonne McGuinness and children Malachy (8) and Aran (7), has most recently been appearing in the acclaimed BBC series Peaky Blinders.

His next film will be Heart of the Sea with Brendan Gleeson and Thor actor Chris Hemsworth.

Ballyturk, written by Enda Walsh and also starring The Crying Game's Stephen Rea, is coming to Dublin's Olympia theatre next month.

hnews@herald.ie

Evening Herald

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