28 DAYS LATER
Murphy made a splash earlier this summer as Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow in
BATMAN BEGINS, Christopher Nolan's successful resurrection of the
once-beleaguered franchise. This week he returns to theatres in the Wes Craven
playing a would-be assassin who makes Rachel McAdams' life a living hell. Last
week Cillian stopped by the Regent Beverly Wilshire in
What attracted you to this project?
It was the quality of the script Ė I found it very compelling. I ready it very quickly and I thought that was a good sign, when you read a script and donít put it down. And the movie rests on the performances, on the two of us together. We have to create that tension and everything else. I liked it; it was unusual.
play a villain in both this film and Batman Begins.
Are you worried that audiences will only think of you as a bad guy?
because Iíve done 12 feature films and have played a bad guy in two of them. I
have many other films coming out in the meantime that Iíve shot either before
or after or in between Batman Begins and Red Eye. And I think audiences are a
lot more intelligent than what we give them credit for and understand that an
actor is playing a role and that doesnít mean he canít play different types
of roles. So I think itís myopic to think that a person can only play and
embody characters that donít you know sit within our own model structure.
concede that I feel Iíve had my quota of bad guys.
Itís nice to know that you can do that.
You see, everything to me is like, ďCan I do that?Ē
And everything is a challenge.
was it like working with Wes Craven? Did
you have any preconceived notions of him as simply a genre filmmaker?
What was interesting for me was if you superimposed all of his talents Ė what he can do in terms of tension and suspense and all that sort of stuff Ė and superimposed that onto a thriller structure, which is a different type of movie for Wes, I thought that was very interesting. And obviously he scared the shit out of me as a kid, watching the Freddy movies. So it was cool to work with someone like that. Iíve been very lucky with the directors that Iíve worked with. You never think when youíre growing up that youíll actually get to work with these people.
you flew out to meet with Wes right before your wedding?
terrible that this storyís gotten legs now, but it wasnít actually the
wedding. I was just doing the
registry office thing, so I didnít leave my bride standing there on the altar.
But I did fly out to meet him in LAX at that revolving restaurant for
like 40 minutes, then I got straight back on a flight and went home.
Time-tabling meant that we had to meet then, you know?
It was apt, I guess, to meet like that.
Wes give you any backstory on your character?
Who he works for, where heís from, etc.?
We did talk about that. You have to do that for any character; any part you play has to have stuff that you can draw on. You have to have information that you can use or not use. 80% of what we do, you donít see on the screen, you know? But I like the way that thereís really no need to investigate this character. Heís just there and heís fundamentally what he is. Itís pretty simple what his objective is. You have to have all of this stuff in you head; you need it to justify the decisions. You need to understand the manís thought processes.
you think he is a sociopath?
is a word now that has sort of become shorthand for psychopath and thereís a
distinct difference. Itís interesting if you look it up. Sociopath if you look
at the medical definition the profile of a sociopath is that they are supremely
intelligent people that are also pathological liars.
want to throw that word around too much because people donít understand what
it means. But, I looked at it objectively. The whole professional thing was what
I went back to. That was his job. That is his object. He is requesting she makes
a phone call and she declines that request. Then he has to find another way of
achieving a goal and thatís the way you have to look at it.
28 Days Later, which ending did you prefer? (Contains
spoilers for those who havenít seen 28 Days Later)
prefer the one where he dies, to be honest. I
liked the idea of two strong women going off in that last closing shot.
Itís convenient that I recovered so well from that gunshot to the gut. (laughs)
chance for a sequel?
think they are talking about it, but just the producers are involved. And that
for me is a full stop. I would hate to go back.
next for you?
just finished shooting a Ken Loach movie. I
just did a Neil Jordan movie in between (Batman Begins and Red Eye).
Iím starting this Danny Boyle movie called Sunshine at the moment.
play a transvestite in the Neil Jordan film, Breakfast on Pluto.
How did you prepare for the role?
went out and spent a lot of time with transvestites and transsexuals.
I went out clubbing with them and did stuff in London as the character.
Of course, thereís a lot of grooming involved, you know?
Hats off to the ladies. I
understand itís not an easy job being a lady.
A lot of plucking and shaving and all that kind of thing. It
was wonderful. I love those
transformative roles. I think for an
actor theyíre the most exciting.