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Wednesday 20 February 2019

WATCH: 'I'd do anything for Chris, within reason' - Cillian Murphy praises Dunkirk director

Chris Wasser and Jason Kennedy

Cork star Cillian Murphy tells Independent.ie about working with director Christopher Nolan for the fifth time following The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception.

His character in the film has no name, and he explains why; "I think for two reasons.  When we see him on the boat, when he's pulled on the boat, Mark Rylance asks him his name and he decides not to give it, whether he can't or he doesn't want to," he says.

"And the second reason is he's kind of representative of all those tens of thousands of soldiers who did go through that experience and were altered by it and did have what they called shell shock.

"Everyone in this film for the most part is meeting for the first tine so names are kind of secondary."

Given they have worked together five times it's clear Murphy and Nolan are a match made in movie-making heaven.  And they will most likely work together again.

"I'd do anything for Chris, within reason," says Cillian.  "I think he's one of the best directors in the world so it's a privilege to work with people as talented as that.  I'll always be there if he calls me up."

Dunkirk is a film on a massive scale, but that's not what Cillian remembers most about the shoot.

"People ask me that about Chris's films but the thing people forget is that there are big set pieces and he does make films on a very broad canvas, but the reason they succeed I think is because of the interaction between the characters and the human stories," he says.

"My most salient memories of working with Chris are the scenes between the actors - me, Mark Rylance, Barry Keoghan, Tom on a boat, just me and the actors and Chris and the cameraman in a very, very confined situation so that's what I remember.  Occasionally there are spitfires and the sea is on fire and there's a destroyer, but mostly I remember the performances."

Cillian recently starred in another war film Anthropoid, and is gearing up for the fourth season of hit BBC series Peaky Blinders, which is also a period piece.  However, he says it's simply a happy accident.

"There was a period in my career ten years ago where everybody said, 'You seem to be doing exclusively science fiction films' but it's just a sort of coincidence," he says.

"They happen to be the stories that I'm interested in telling so there's absolutely not srategy or plan.  It's totally random.  I don't know what I'll be doing next!"

DUNKIRK, Cert 12A, is in Irish cinemas this Friday

WATCH: 'They're always looking out for you' - Dunkirk's Barry Keoghan on working with Irish actors in Hollywood Film review: Christopher Nolan’s wartime drama Dunkirk is ‘breathtaking’

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