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50 facts about Cillian Murphy: began studying law but failed his first year exams because, as he put it, he had "no ambitions to do it"

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Cillian Murphy
(Photo : Credit: Ian Gavan) Caption:LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Actor Cillian Murphy attends European premiere of 'The Dark Knight Rises' at Odeon Leicester Square on July 18, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
Cillian Murphy
(Photo : Credit: Ben A. Pruchnie ) Caption:LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Cillian Murphy poses for photographs before introducing his BFI Screen Epiphany 'Scarecrow' at BFI Southbank on October 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Cillian Murphy
(Photo : Credit: Ben A. Pruchnie) Caption:LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Cillian Murphy introduces his BFI Screen Epiphany 'Scarecrow' at BFI Southbank on October 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Cillian Murphy
(Photo : Credit: Andreas Rentz ) Caption:BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 12: Actor Cillian Murphy attends the 'Aloft' photocall during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 12, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Caption:BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 12: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters) An alternative view of Cillian Murphy at the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival on February 12, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
(Photo : Credit: Ian Gavan) Caption:BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 12: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters) An alternative view of Cillian Murphy at the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival on February 12, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Learn 50 interesting things about Irish actor Cillian Murphy.

1. He is a native of Cork.

2. Murphy began his performing career as a rock musician.

3. He turned down a record deal.

4. Murphy made his professional acting debut in the play Disco Pigs in 1996.

5. Came to international attention in 2002 as the hero of Danny Boyle's post-apocalyptic film 28 Days Later.

6. Murphy's profile continued to grow in 2005 when he appeared in a series of successful films: firstly as the Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan's 2005 blockbuster Batman Begins-a role he reprised in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises and secondly in the action-thriller Red Eye.

7. For his performance as a transgender woman in Breakfast on Pluto, Murphy received a Golden Globe award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.

8. In 2006, Murphy played the lead role in Ken Loach's Palme d'Or-winning film The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

9. He re-teamed with Boyle for the science-fiction film Sunshine, and with Nolan for the highly successful thriller Inception.

10. Since 2013, Murphy has played the lead in the BBC gangster series Peaky Blinders.

11. He has continued to work on stage, and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for Misterman in 2011.

12. Murphy and his family lives in London.

13. Murphy was born in Douglas and raised in Ballintemple, two suburbs of Cork.

14. His father, Brendan, works for the Irish Department of Education.

15. His mother is a French teacher.

16. Not only are his parents educators, but his aunts and uncles are also teachers, as was his grandfather.

17. Musicianship also runs in the Murphy's family.

18. Murphy started playing music and writing songs at age ten.

19. Murphy was raised Roman Catholic.

20. Attended the Catholic school Presentation Brothers College, where he did well academically but got into trouble often, sometimes getting suspended, until he decided in his fourth year that misbehaving was not worth the hassle.

21. He is not keen on sport.

22. While at school he got his first taste of performing, when he participated in a drama module presented by Pat Kiernan, the director of the Corcadorca Theatre Company. Murphy later described the experience as a "huge high" and a "fully alive" feeling that he set out to chase.

23. His English teacher, the poet and novelist William Wall, encouraged him to pursue acting.

24. He wanted to become a rock star.

25. In his late teens and early twenties, Murphy worked toward a career as a rock musician, playing guitar in several bands alongside his brother Páidi.

26. The Beatles-obsessed pair named their most successful band "The Sons of Mr. Greengenes", after a 1969 song by another idol, Frank Zappa.

27. Murphy sang and played guitar in the band, which he has said "specialised in wacky lyrics and endless guitar solos".

28. In 1996, The Sons of Mr. Greengenes were offered a five-album record deal by Acid Jazz Records, but they did not sign the contract due to Murphy's brother still being in secondary school and the little money involved in ceding the rights to Murphy's compositions to the record label. Murphy confessed that "I'm very glad in retrospect that we didn't sign because you kind of sign away your life to a label and the whole of your music".

29. Also in 1996, Murphy began studying law at University College Cork (UCC), but he failed his first year exams because, as he put it, he had "no ambitions to do it".

30. After seeing Corcadorca's stage production of A Clockwork Orange, directed by Kiernan, acting had begun to pique his interest.

31. His first major role was in the UCC Drama Society's amateur production of Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, also starring Irish American comedian, Des Bishop.

32. Murphy also played the lead in a UCC Drama production of Little Shop of Horrors, which was performed in the Cork Opera House. According to Murphy, his primary motivation then was to party and meet women, not to begin an acting career.

33. In mid-2004, Murphy married his long-time girlfriend, Yvonne McGuinness.

34. His wife is an artist.

35. The couple met in 1996 at one of his rock band's shows.

36. The couple has two sons, Malachy and Aran Murphy.

37. Murphy often works in or near the city and has expressed no desire to move to Hollywood.

38. He prefers not to speak about his personal life.

39. He did not appear on any live TV chat shows until 2010, when he was a guest on The Late Late Show on Ireland's RTé to promote Perrier's Bounty yet still remained reserved.

40. He does not have a stylist.

41. He doesn't have a personal publicist.

42. He travels without an entourage.

43. Often attends premieres alone.

44. Reserved and private, Murphy professes a lack of interest in the celebrity scene, finding the red carpet experience "a challenge... and not one I want to overcome".

45. He intentionally practices a lifestyle that will not interest the tabloids: "I haven't created any controversy, I don't sleep around, I don't go and fall down drunk".

46. Murphy is friends with fellow Irish actors Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson, looking up to the latter like a "surrogate movie dad".

47. Primarily, Murphy's close friendships are those he made before becoming a star.

48. Music is still an important part of Murphy's life. In 2004, he said, "The only extravagant thing about my lifestyle is my stereo system, buying music and going to gigs".

49. He no longer plays in a rock band, but regularly plays music with friends and on his own, and still writes songs.

50. Murphy does not plan to start another band: "Even if I was good, the very notion of being an actor with a rock band on the side would mean I'd never be taken seriously".

Source: Wikipedia.org

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Cillian Murphy

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