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INT: Cillian Murphy

Aug. 17, 2005by: Thomas Leupp

28 DAYS LATER star Cillian 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 thriller RED EYE, playing a would-be assassin who makes Rachel McAdams' life a living hell. Last week Cillian stopped by the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles , where he spoke in a thick Irish brogue about his experience making RED EYE. At least that's what I think he talked about. Truth is, I could barely understand anything he said. Seemed like a nice guy, though. Enjoy!

Cillian Murphy

What attracted you to this project?

It was the quality of the script I found it very compelling. I ready it very quickly and I thought that was a good sign, when you read a script and dont 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.

You play a villain in both this film and Batman Begins. Are you worried that audiences will only think of you as a bad guy?

No. No because Ive 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 Ive 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 doesnt mean he cant play different types of roles. So I think its myopic to think that a person can only play and embody characters that dont you know sit within our own model structure.

I would concede that I feel Ive had my quota of bad guys. Its nice to know that you can do that. You see, everything to me is like, Can I do that? And everything is a challenge.

What 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 what he can do in terms of tension and suspense and all that sort of stuff 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. Ive been very lucky with the directors that Ive worked with. You never think when youre growing up that youll actually get to work with these people.

And you flew out to meet with Wes right before your wedding?

Its terrible that this storys gotten legs now, but it wasnt actually the wedding. I was just doing the registry office thing, so I didnt 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.

Did Wes give you any backstory on your character? Who he works for, where hes 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 dont see on the screen, you know? But I like the way that theres really no need to investigate this character. Hes just there and hes fundamentally what he is. Its 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 mans thought processes.

Do you think he is a sociopath?

Sociopath is a word now that has sort of become shorthand for psychopath and theres a distinct difference. Its 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.

I didnt want to throw that word around too much because people dont 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 thats the way you have to look at it.

With 28 Days Later, which ending did you prefer? (Contains spoilers for those who havent seen 28 Days Later)

I prefer the one where he dies, to be honest. I liked the idea of two strong women going off in that last closing shot. Its convenient that I recovered so well from that gunshot to the gut. (laughs)

Any chance for a sequel?

Well I 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.

Whats next for you?

I just finished shooting a Ken Loach movie. I just did a Neil Jordan movie in between (Batman Begins and Red Eye). Im starting this Danny Boyle movie called Sunshine at the moment.

You play a transvestite in the Neil Jordan film, Breakfast on Pluto. How did you prepare for the role?

I 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, theres a lot of grooming involved, you know? Hats off to the ladies. I understand its 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 theyre the most exciting.

 

Source: JoBlo.com

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