Don’t feel bad if you were confused by the excruciatingly complicated plot of Inception: Cillian Murphy, one of the actors in Christopher Nolan’s “dream within a dream within a dream within a etc.” 2010 summer blockbuster is still trying to figure it out, he told us last night.
At Peggy Siegal’s Red Lights after-party at Apotheke, The Observer spoke to Mr. Murphy, who played the young heir who is incepted by Leo and his team. Surely, he would have some insight to the movie’s more baffling questions. (Like why could Tom Hardy’s character summon a giant gun in the shared dream state, but no one else could manifest objects?)
“Honestly, I have no idea,” laughed Mr. Murphy when we asked him what Inception was about, his Irish accent almost undetectable. (“Thanks,” he replied when we noted this. “I’m almost American now.”)
Well, could he at least tell us if he’d be making a cameo as the Scarecrow in The Dark Knight Rises? (Mr. Murphy’s brief appearance in the beginning of the second Batman film was a delightful Easter Egg for the canon’s superfans.)
“Come on,” Mr. Murphy said. “The movie is coming out next month. Don’t make me answer that.” Okay, fine, fine. (We’re taking that as a yes.)
Then could he at least answer us this: What did young Cillian Murphy want to be when he was a kid?
“A musician,” Mr. Murphy said warily, as if we were asking a trick question.
Any particular kind of musician?
“No?” He faltered. “I mean, I had a guitar, but I would have liked to be any kind of musician.” When asked if he still played, the modest actor replied that he could still plunk out a few notes.
“Like the Beatles?” We asked. Everyone knew a couple Beatles songs on the guitar, right? “Rocky Raccoon” and such?
“Yeah, the Beatles. I love the Beatles,” was his clipped reply. Strike two. Oh well, maybe he was more of a Rolling Stones fan.
On to the present: Mr. Murphy’s latest role in Rodrigo Cortés’s Red Lights has him playing an assistant to a skeptic paranormal psychologist looking to debunk Robert DeNiro’s claim of psychic powers.
But so flustered were we standing in front of the hunky 28 Days Later star that we had our Freudian moment, asking, “How was it working with Al Pacino?”
His publicist blanched as Mr. Murphy politely corrected us. “Don’t worry,” he told us once his rep was out of earshot. “They’re basically the same person anyway.”
So maybe that’s the secret to the enigmatic Cillian Murphy: drill him and expect tight lips, lose your cool and he’s much more sympathetic. The actor is as decipherable as a windmill toy locked in a safe of our subconscious. But he sure is good-looking.
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