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Oscars 2024: Cillian Murphy wins Best Actor for Oppenheimer

Mar 11, 2024 10:17 AM IST

Cillian Murphy took home his first Oscar for playing J. Robert Oppenheimer, also known as the "father of the atomic bomb".

Cillian Murphy came away with his first Oscar for portraying the man who created the atomic bomb in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster biopic Oppenheimer. (Also read: Oscars 2024 full list of winners: Oppenheimer wins Best Picture, Christopher Nolan named Best Director)

Cillian wins his first Oscar

Cillian Murphy poses with the Oscar for "Best Actor" as " J. Robert Oppenheimer" in "Oppenheimer" in the Oscars photo room at the 96th Academy awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 10, 2024. REUTERS/Carlos Barria(REUTERS)

A first-time nominee, Murphy won best actor for his stellar role as J. Robert Oppenheimer. The film tells the story of how Oppenheimer and his peers at Los Alamos would test the bomb on July 16, 1945, not knowing what was going to happen — and the ensuing fallout.

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Murphy bested Colman Domingo for Rustin, Bradley Cooper for Maestro, Paul Giamatti for The Holdovers, and Jeffrey Wright for American Fiction. The Irish actor, though a regular presence in Nolan films going back almost two decades, had always been a supporting player. This time, Nolan wanted him to lead.

About his work

“He’s so understated and self-deprecating and, in his very English manner, just said, ‘Listen, I’ve written this script, it’s about Oppenheimer. I’d like you to be my Oppenheimer,’” Murphy, 47, told The Associated Press last year. “It was a great day.”

For Murphy, he knows there are some movies he’s right for and some that he is not. “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 said last year. “But deep down, secretly, I was desperate to play a lead for him.”

Murphy came into the Academy Awards as a strong contender, after picking up numerous precursor Best Actor wins, at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and BAFTA Film Awards.

Catch HT's coverage of the Oscars and the 2024 Awards season here. We have reviews, predictions and more.

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