Inside Cillian Murphy’s extreme Oppenheimer body transformation: How actor used rigorous and ‘unhealthy’ methods to play ‘almost mad’ physicist who ‘never ate’

Inside Cillian Murphy's extreme Oppenheimer body transformation: How actor used rigorous and 'unhealthy' methods to play 'almost mad' physicist who 'never ate'

The stars of upcoming blockbuster Oppenheimer have revealed the ‘horrendous’ lengths Cillian Murphy went to to become the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ – saying the actor ate ‘nuts a day’ to transform himself into the ‘decaying’ physicist.

The Peaky Blinders star, 47, plays J. Robert Oppenheimer in the Christopher Nolan-directed biopic, due out Friday, which follows the scientist as he designs the atomic bomb during World War II as part of top-secret Manhattan. project.

Cillian has previously detailed the extreme lengths he went to portray the physicist on screen, losing weight to mirror his ‘almost frail’ frame.

His co-star Emily Blunt has spoken about Cillian’s drastic transformation, how she survived on just one ‘nut a day’ on her strict diet.

In an interview with Extra, Emily – who plays his on-screen wife Kitty – described the ‘monumental undertaking’ of slimming down for the role.

Transformation: Cillian Murphy (left in 2017 and right in July) underwent a drastic transformation to portray ‘father of the atomic bomb’ J Robert Oppenheimer in the biopic

Drama: The Christopher Nolan-directed epic follows Oppenheimer as he directs an atomic bomb design laboratory during World War II as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project.

He said: ‘He had such a monumental undertaking. And he could only eat one nut a day. He was very angry.’

Cillian warned that his transformation was not ‘healthy’.

Speaking to the New York Times, the star said how she took more than five months before filming to prepare herself physically and mentally for the role.

He admitted that he ‘loved’ the physicality of preparing for the role, telling Oppenheimer how he wanted to lose weight to reveal the fact that he ‘never ate’.

She said: ‘I like to play with my body, and Oppenheimer had a very distinct physicality and silhouette, which I wanted to get right.

‘I had to lose quite a bit of weight, and we worked with clothes and tailoring; He was very thin, almost emaciated, existing on martinis and cigarettes.

‘She had these really bright eyes and I wanted to give her this wide-eyed look, so we worked a lot on her silhouette and expression before we started.’

Extreme: Cillian didn’t shy away from detailing the extreme lengths he went to portray the physicist on screen, losing weight to mirror his ‘almost frenzied’ frame

Weight loss: Her co-star Emily Blunt opened up about Cillian’s drastic transformation, saying how she only ate one ‘almond a day’ (she’s pictured left in Peaky Blinders and right in July)

Drastic: Cillian also told how she tested herself to see how little she could eat while preparing for the role, admitting she ‘doesn’t advise’ extreme diets

Real life: Cillian explains Oppenheimer (pictured) ‘never ate’ and lived off ‘martinis and cigarettes’

Cillian also said she’s been testing herself on how little she can eat, admitting she ‘doesn’t advocate’ extreme diets.

He told The Guardian: ‘You become a bit competitive with yourself which is not healthy. I don’t advise it.’

The actor said he didn’t want to reveal exactly how much weight he lost for the role, but said how the hectic nature of filming made him stop worrying about eating.

He slept for a few hours during filming, he added: ‘I was running with crazy energy; I got to a point where I wasn’t thinking about food or anything.

‘I was into it, hyper… something hyper, but it was good because the character was like that. He never ate.’

Cillian also told how director Nolan gave the stars about six months to prepare before filming.

He told the Associated Press: ‘We had a long time to prepare, Chris always puts a lot of time into preparation, which I love, so we had about six months before shooting.

‘You dive into it, you dive into it.’

Emily Blunt plays physicist Oppenheimer’s wife Kitty, while Florence Pugh plays Jean Tatlock, a psychiatrist, Communist Party member and close friend of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

The film is adapted from the 2006 American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning book chronicles Oppenheimer’s personal life and leadership of the Manhattan Project in the early and mid-1940s.

Expected: Cillian Oppenheimer plays the role and critics tip the film to win big. He is pictured with Emily Blunt, who plays his on-screen wife Kitty

Cast: Florence Pugh plays Jean Tatlock, a psychiatrist, member of the Communist Party and close friend of Oppenheimer.

The film has already been hailed as a contender to win multiple awards.

Journalists took to Twitter to share their glowing reviews of the movie, with one critic describing how the film ‘split my brain’ and ‘left me in tears at the end credits’.

Robbie Collin of The Telegraph wrote: ‘I’m torn between being all cocky and mystifying about Oppenheimer and just coming out and saying it’s a complete knockout.’

Elsa Keslassi of Variety added: ‘One sign that French audiences loved #Oppenheimer is that they stayed in front of the Grand Rex theater long after the controversy over the film was over!’

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