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Cillian Murphy Explains Why ‘Oppenheimer’ Costar Matt Damon Called Him the ‘Worst Dinner Companion’

Cillian Murphy Explains Why Oppenheimer Costar Matt
(L-R) Matt Damon and Cillian Murphy Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images

Cillian Murphy reacted to Oppenheimer costar Matt Damon’s revelation that he did not like to socialize like the rest of the cast — and the Oscar nominee explained why.

Oppenheimer was shot in a remote New Mexico desert that had one hotel and one restaurant. Damon, 53, who costarred in the film as General Leslie Groves, said the cast members would always eat together. However, because Murphy, 47, was so focused on his character, he was extremely distant when they socialized and often turned down dinner invitations.

During a 60 Minutes interview broadcast on Sunday, February 18, host Scott Pelly shared Damon’s observation with Murphy, 47.

“Matt Damon told me that ‘Cillian is the worst dinner companion imaginable,'” Pelley, 66, said. “What he meant by that was when you’re working on a film — when you’re being the character — there’s very little room in your head for anything else.”

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Murphy agreed that he was not very sociable during filming.

“Yeah, I mean, I’ve always been like that, I think,” he responded, laughing. “But it’s because, to me, you have the time on set, which is short enough time — you have 10 hours, maybe. And then the other part, if you’ve got a significant part, you’re having to keep your lines fresh.”

When he wasn’t focused on the script, Murphy quipped that he was interested in getting some shut eye.

“The other big thing for me is sleeping. I love sleeping and I need sleep,” he continued. “You just don’t have the room … in your head, and you want as much sleep as possible.”

Murphy added that once production ended, he was much more fun to be with.

“I’ve had lots of lovely dinners with Matt Damon since the movie’s finished and we’ve been out promoting it and stuff.”

In a separate interview with Entertainment Tonight in July 2023, Damon said he understood why Murphy did not join the cast for meals.

“He was losing so much weight for the role that he couldn’t eat dinner,” he explained, adding that Murphy noshed on “one almond most nights or a little slice of apple.”

David Fisher/Shutterstock

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Emily Blunt, who starred as Oppenheimer’s wife, Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, told ET that Murphy needed time alone after shooting to prepare for his very demanding character

“The sheer volume of what [Murphy] had to take on [for the role] and shoulder is so monumental,” she said. “Of course, he didn’t want to come and have dinner with us.”

Robert Downey Jr., who portrayed Atomic Energy Commission chairman Lewis Strauss, told People that he was in awe of Murphy’s performance.

“I have never witnessed a greater sacrifice by a lead actor in my career,” Downey, 58, said in a July 2023 interview. “He knew it was going to be a behemoth ask when Chris [director Christopher Nolan] called him. But I think he also had the humility that is required to survive playing a role like this.”

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