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Cillian Murphy 'Emotionally Knocked Out' By New Film

Cillian Murphy has said that he has been left "emotionally knocked out" by the story behind his new film, Small Things Like These.

The actor stars opposite Emily Watson, Zara Devlin, Eileen Walsh, and Michelle Fairley in the film, which is an adaption of Claire Keegan's best seller of the same name, telling the story a Magdalene Laundry in smalltown Ireland during the 1980s. 

Small Things Like These became the first film to open the Berlin International Film Festival on Thursday. 

On how this project firstly came about, Cillian Murphy was full of praise for author Claire Keegan.

"I love Claire Keegan’s work, all of her work, and I read the story quite early. It knocked me out emotionally, I thought it was beautiful and then I began to think of it as a film slowly, then I brought it to Alan, brought it to Tim and then Enda. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck became involved and then Eileen and it gathered momentum really quickly", he revealed.

Speaking about the emotional connection that he had when shooting this film, Cillian Murphy had this to say.

"It’s a lot to take on, it’s certainly a collective trauma we’re all processing. My generation and an older generation, it is still something we are trying to figure out", the Golden Globe winner said. "Books and art and film can be a balm to that wound more than government reports or academic papers". 

"I think above all the film has to entertain and you have to be involved in it emotionally, but if it asks a few questions, that’s a bonus". 

"universality lies in its specificity"

While the film tells a very Irish story, Cillian Murphy does not feel that this is a barrier to the film gaining a wider audience. 

"Its universality lies in its specificity," the Cork native stated. "We showed it in New York and LA and people responded in the same way and the response we're having here in Berlin is the same. There are very raw emotions to the film that people respond to, and the fact that it’s located in Irish society is no barrier to it". 

Looking ahead to this weekend's BAFTAs, which sees him nominated in the Best Actor category, alongside fellow Irish actor and Saltburn star Barry Keoghan, Murphy has laughed off any suggestions that there is a friendly rivalry between the pair.

"Not at all. He's just a genius actor and I’ve worked with him and I’ll be hanging out with him on Sunday, I'm looking forward to it", Murphy insisted. 

He continued, "I think it’s incredible the talent coming out of the country. I don’t have the answer as to why that is but it’s really rich time and long may I last. We just have to encourage that talent". 

On the ceremony itself, Murphy added, "It’s all very exciting, I’m thrilled by it all, a little overwhelmed, there’s a lot of travelling but it’s amazing for the film". 

"We can’t believe the response that it’s had with the audience obviously and then our peers. We’re all in a little bit of shock". 

 

 

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