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Perrier's Bounty - Cillian Murphy interview

Perrier's Bounty

Interview by Rob Carnevale

CILLIAN Murphy talks about the joy of working on Irish gangster movie Perrier’s Bounty and having Jim Broadbent as his dad. He also talks about why he feels Christopher Nolan’s Inception will be something special, and why he’s teaming up with Perrier’s Bounty co-star Brendan Gleeson for another movie…

Q. What was it that really drew you into Mark O’Rowe’s script?
Cillian Murphy: It was just a really, really well written script. The characters were beautifully drawn and the language itself, as you can hear, was something special. He has a unique voice and you need voice as actors. So, all of those elements. And then the character really appealed to me – I could identify with a lot that was going on. I liked the father and son relationship. And it was really funny to read as well.

Q. How was working with Jim Broadbent and having him as your dad?
Cillian Murphy: He makes a lovely dad. Annoying but… [Laughs] I’ve been a fan of Jim’s for a long time and it was great to get to work with him, watch him and see how he does it. He’s a really generous and warm man… and so funny, and he brings a huge warmth to every character he plays, even if it’s a rogue. You still love him. In this, he really brings that to the part.

Q. This was a quick shoot as well, wasn’t it?
Cillian Murphy: Yeah, really, really fast. I think it was seven or eight weeks. It was such a crazy set-up. We only had Brendan [Gleeson] in for a short period, so you really have to go at it. Everyone asks if we had a lot of fun and we did have a lot of fun, but the main focus was the creative and getting through so much script. The crew were brilliant – working at night-time in the winter is never glamorous but they got everything. And we were lucky that the architecture of the script was sound, we never had to go fiddling with that. The script came out as written and the film is per script, and that’s a great luxury to have.

Q. What can you reveal about Inception?
Cillian Murphy: I can’t really reveal much to be honest [laughs]. But I wouldn’t really want to either, because I think it’s a shame when people spill the beans on these films. There’s a reason why the plot has a level of secrecy about it because I think it’s something special. I think it’ll be something original, certainly conceptually. But I’ve only seen as much as the trailer, so I’m very, very excited about it. He’s a really special talent… Christopher Nolan, as a writer and as a director. He’s made just such fantastic films and moved between such genres with ease. I think this will make a bit of a splash and people will be very, very excited about it. So, I don’t even really want to tell you anything about my character, either. But that’s only in an effort to build up the anticipation, so that when you go in you can appreciate it for what it’s worth.

Q. Are you still playing with your band?
Cillian Murphy: No, I’m not playing with that band but I mess around a bit. I play guitar and I play with my friends whenever… at weddings like, or whenever we get together. I go to a lot of gigs and buy a lot of music. But it’s purely a hobby now. I still get a great buzz out of watching it and playing it. But when you’re not working, you can’t really be practising. You can read and watch films, but it’s nice to have some sort of expression so you can do that through music a little bit.

Q. You’ll shortly be working with your co-star Brendan Gleeson on his directorial debut, At Swim Two Birds. Are you looking forward to that?
Cillian Murphy: Oh yeah, I’m looking forward to it now. I’m a big fan of the book as well. We did a table read of it with a whole bunch of actors and it was just amazing. It just felt like there was an energy in the room. It was amazing to have four generations of actors there with this dearly loved book in Ireland. There was a lot of goodwill in the room. So, the idea of working on it together and having Brendan, who’s spent so much time with it now and has so much passion for it, will be very exciting.

Q. Would you like to direct yourself in the future?
Cillian Murphy: Not now. It’s not something that I’m thinking about right now but I wouldn’t rule it out at all. You look at all the talented people, and it’s a bit overwhelming when you see the level of responsibility involved. The only responsibility that I have is to show up and learn the words and I have trouble with that! But I was talking to Brendan, who said: “You’ll find something and you’ll want to do it so much. You become so passionate about something, you won’t want anyone else to do it.” So, if a project comes along and it’s right, then I might give it a go – but I think I have a few more years at improving at this game [acting] for now.

Q. Do you have a director you’d really, really love to work with that you haven’t yet?
Cillian Murphy: There’s so many of them, there really is. Every time I start to do lists, it’s a disaster because the minute I leave the room, I think: “Did I say that?” If you learn patience and if you stay true to yourself in terms of what you want to do, you will get to work with some of them anyway. I mean I can’t believe my luck with some of the people I’ve worked with already, so hopefully that will continue. You can only hope…

Q. What’s the most surprising or pleasing reaction you’ve had to Perrier’s Bounty so far, from festivals and such like?
Cillian Murphy: People just love the language. The thing about Mark O’Rowe… I did this film he wrote called Intermission and that, for whatever reason, connected with quite a few people at home, so I get it quoted at me all the time wherever I go. And already the lines in Perrier’s Bounty are hitting home – people are coming back to us and quoting lines. That’s a brilliant knack of a writer if you can burrow into people’s consciousness like that. So, that’s been a great reaction. It also played in Toronto last September and went down a storm. People really got it, so I don’t think there’ll be any trouble with it travelling.

Read our review of Perrier’s Bounty

Read our interview with Brendan Gleeson