'These people actually lived through this and we were complaining like moany actors' - Cillian Murphy on starving for new movie
Published 03/12/2015 | 07:30
Actor Cillian Murphy had to starve himself in preparation for his latest Hollywood blockbuster.
The Heart of the Sea tells the story of the Essex whaling ship that inspired the novel Moby Dick.
The ship is destroyed by an enraged bull sperm whale, leaving its crew shipwrecked for 90 days and thousands of miles from the nearest land.
It premiered last night in London and Murphy, who dramatically slimmed down for his role, said he had new-found respect for those who lived through the real life ordeal.
“These people actually lived through this and we were complaining like moany actors saying, ‘oh, I’m so hungry’ – but these guys did it for real, so it does bring it home,” he said.
Benjamin Walker, who plays the Essex’s captain, George Pollard, said their “excruciating” diet was a small tribute to the sailors who lost their lives on the voyage.
“I’m never doing a crash diet again. It was absolutely excruciating, but it was least we could do to represent these guys who actually suffered – and many of whom didn’t survive.”
The cast certainly suffered for their art, with actor Tom Holland describing the day on set where he filmed his character, Thomas Nickerson, sliding into the carcass of a sperm whale to fish out the sought-after oil inside, as “the single hardest day I’ve ever had on set”.
The actors also joked and discussed which crew member they would eat if ever shipwrecked, but Murphy was not picky, saying: “Listen, I’m not fussy – any of them. I’d fecking eat myself. Anyone who’s closest to me!”
In the Heart of the Sea opens on Stephen's Day.