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How Cillian Murphy Unintentionally Threw Off Oppenheimer Co-Stars

Now well into its theatrical run, Christopher Nolan's historical epic, "Oppenheimer," continues to dazzle moviegoers from virtually all walks of life. And if audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes are any indication, it'll continue to do so as long as it's playing in theaters. Based on Martin Sherwin's celebrated biography, "American Prometheus," the film explores what some consider the most important event in the history of the modern world: J. Robert Oppenheimer's development of the first atomic bomb. 

Cillian Murphy plays the title role in Nolan's latest. He leads arguably one of the greatest ensemble casts ever assembled for a film, with names like Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, and Robert Downey Jr. sharing the screen in supporting roles. But even as well as the castmates seem to have gotten along, some took issue with one specific, unintentionally distracting part of working with Murphy. According to Damon, Murphy's piercing blue eyes were quite distracting indeed.

Damon hilariously admitted as much in an interview with People, telling the publication, "It's a real problem when you're doing scene work with Cillian. Sometimes you find yourself just swimming in his eyes." The actor made that statement with Murphy and fellow star Blunt in tow, and the latter was quick to back him on the issue, laughing, "It's like that 'Ocean Eyes' song by Billie Eilish. We just hum it all day."

Murphy is earning career-best reviews for Oppenheimer

Cillian Murphy was a good sport about all the "distracting blue eye" banter, finally proclaiming, "They're not even that blue!" All joking aside, the one thing each of his co-stars can seemingly agree on is that Murphy's performance in "Oppenheimer" is the definition of towering. According to Emily Blunt, that was the direct result of Murphy's astounding dedication to the role, telling People, "The sheer volume of what he had to take on and shoulder is so monumental." He rarely took time to relax throughout the entire production.

That reportedly included forgoing dinners with his castmates, with Matt Damon positing, "He couldn't. His brain was just too full." Murphy's co-stars are not the only ones celebrating his performance, with the bulk of the film's positive reviews hailing it as an unmitigated triumph. That includes Pajiba critic Melanie Fischer, who writes of Murphy's work, "It's the kind of performance that looks deceptively effortless, best appreciated without bells and whistles like heavy prosthetics," before praising the actor for elevating the dramatic stakes even when the screenplay falls short.

Toronto Star scribe Peter Howell seconded the notion, writing that Murphy plays Oppenheimer "with almost supernatural precision," while Esquire critic Max Cea hails his turn as "a career performance." If you've already seen Murphy in the film, you know it's hard to argue with any of those assertions. And the way things are shaping up, it's easy to imagine we'll be talking about Murphy's work straight through awards season.