Monday 27 January 2020

Cillian Murphy's moustache for latest film role 'a woman-repellent'

Cillian Murphy is now clean-shaven again
Cillian Murphy is now clean-shaven again

Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy has joked that the 1970s handlebar moustache he grew for his latest action thriller was a "woman-repellent".

Murphy plays an IRA operative in Free Fire, Ben Wheatley's follow-up to High Rise, which involves an arms deal that goes wrong resulting in pandemonium and spraying bullets.

Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson, who brokers the deal, plays a mysterious businesswoman, while Elysium actor Sharlto Copley is a South African arms dealer. Luther actor Michael Smiley and Control star Sam Riley also feature in the thriller.

The cast members posed for selfies with fans as they walked the red carpet in Leicester Square alongside Wheatley to mark the end of the 60th London Film Festival.

Murphy said: "It's great - delighted it's the closing film, it's a big deal so hopefully people like it.

Asked what he did to prepare for the role he said: "I grew a moustache. That was it."

The actor, now clean-shaven, added that he missed it "terribly", but joked that it was "ba sically a woman-repellent".

His co-star Smiley concurred, saying the "moustache-fest" made them look like porn stars, while Copley said the "70s man" look had proved a hit with his wife, adding: "I think that certain men can carry a tache."

Wheatley said he felt "overwhelmed" to have his film premiering on the closing night of the film festival.

He said of filming: "Once we got the cast together ... I just couldn't believe my luck. And then every day when I came into work it was a joy."

London Film Festival head Clare Stewart said she was thrilled to be ending it with a film by a rising British director.

Of Wheatley's Free Fire she said: "This shows him in really liberated form, it's kind of ballsy, shoot 'em up, pays ode to the great cinema achievements of someone like Sam Peckinpah and it's a lot of fun."

PA Media

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