Cillian Murphy pictured as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer"

Matt Damon calls Cillian Murphy’s ‘Oppenheimer’ performance a ‘marathon’

Cillian Murphy knew that becoming the “father of the atomic bomb” J. Robert Oppenheimer would not be a sprint, but rather an epic marathon.

Murphy is helming Christopher Nolan’s WWII-set epic alongside Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon, who recently praised Murphy’s dedication to the important role.

“When you’re at the center of a movie of that magnitude, shooting seven scenes in one day, it takes a different focus, concern and commitment,” Damon told Murphy. The New York Times. “It’s nice to see someone fully dedicated to it.”

Damon, who plays US Army Lieutenant General Leslie Groves, called the role of Oppenheimer a “marathon” for Murphy.

In the Times interview, Murphy also opened up about what physically went into his performance. “I love acting with my body, and Oppenheimer had a very distinct physique and silhouette, which I wanted to get right. I had to lose a lot of weight and we worked with costume and tailoring; he was very thin, almost emaciated, he lived on martinis and cigarettes. He added, “He had these really bright eyes and I wanted to give him this wide-eyed look, so we did a lot of work on his silhouette and his expressions before we started.”

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“Air” actor Damon recently revealed he was unaware of the release date of “Oppenheimer” competing with Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” both in theaters on July 21st. “This is the first time I’ve heard of it, actually. I didn’t pay attention to that,” Damon said of the viral trend of asking who’s going to buy a ticket to which movie’s opening night. “People can go see two movies in one weekend. ‘Oppenheimer’ is one of them!”

“Oppenheimer” star Murphy revealed earlier this year that she was looking forward to directing a Nolan film after collaborating with the director on a number of feature films including the “Dark Knight” trilogy.

“I’ve always said publicly and privately to Chris that if I’m available and you want me to be in a movie, I’m there,” Murphy said. “I don’t really care about the portion size. But deep down, secretly, I was desperate to play a role for him.

He added: “You realize this is a huge responsibility. (J. Robert Oppenheimer) was complicated, contradictory and so iconic. But you know you’re with one of the greatest directors of all time. I felt confident going through it with Chris. He has had a profound impact on my life, creatively and professionally. He offered me very interesting roles and I found them all really challenging. And I love being on his sets.

For all the details on “Oppenheimer”, click here.