How much was Cillian Murphy paid for ‘Oppenheimer’?

Cillian Murphy Shines as Lead Star in Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer”

Cillian Murphy, the renowned Irish actor, takes on the lead role in Christopher Nolan’s biopic, “Oppenheimer.” The film delves into the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American physicist who played a pivotal role in the creation of the atomic bomb. Joining Murphy in the ensemble cast are Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., and Florence Pugh, among others.

A Long-Standing Collaboration

“Oppenheimer” marks the sixth collaboration between Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan. The duo has previously worked together on iconic films such as “The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception,” and “Dunkirk,” with Murphy often delivering compelling performances in supporting roles.

Compensation Details

While official figures are not confirmed, online reports suggest that Cillian Murphy earned a substantial $10 million (£7.7 million) for his portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer. As for the other cast members, Emily Blunt, who portrays Oppenheimer’s wife Kitty, and Robert Downey Jr., who stars as US Atomic Energy Commission chairman Lewis Strauss, reportedly earned $4 million (£3.1 million) each. Florence Pugh, who plays Oppenheimer’s troubled lover Jean Tatlock, is said to have received $1 million (£779,313). Matt Damon, in the role of General Leslie Groves, is believed to have been compensated with $3 million (£2.3 million).

Oppenheimer has made $406 million worldwide. This already surpasses the Box Office takings of Nolan’s last film, 2020’s Tenet, which made $366 million. Oppenheimer’s budget was reportedly around $100 million, which means the historical drama has already made a tidy profit.

A Brush with Destiny

Interestingly, Cillian Murphy almost played the role of Oppenheimer in a 2014 TV series titled “Manhattan.” Although Daniel London was eventually cast in the role, the creators of the show revealed that Murphy, along with Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Beck, was considered for the part. Nevertheless, “Oppenheimer” marks Murphy’s first main role in a Christopher Nolan film.

Unlocking the Character

Cillian Murphy has spoken about his experience portraying Oppenheimer and the guidance he received from director Christopher Nolan. Nolan used a powerful phrase to describe Oppenheimer’s moral journey, stating that he was “dancing between the raindrops morally.” This phrase helped unlock the character for Murphy, who believes that Oppenheimer was naive and genuinely believed the atomic bomb could bring about a world governed by nuclear powers.

A Monumental Achievement

“Oppenheimer” has received critical acclaim, earning a five-star review for its mature and thought-provoking filmmaking. Nolan’s ability to craft intelligent and immersive blockbusters is evident once again in this monumental film that demands to be seen on the big screen.


Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” has captivated audiences worldwide. The film’s star-studded cast and Nolan’s masterful direction contribute to a gripping and profound cinematic experience. As moviegoers continue to immerse themselves in this remarkable biopic, Cillian Murphy’s talent and versatility as an actor continue to shine bright.

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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer


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