Cillian Murphy learned '30,000 words of Dutch' before playing Oppenheimer for a minor detail
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures
Actors are known for going to extremes for certain roles, but Cillian Murphy learnt a whole new language. (Yes, really!)
While playing the titular nuclear physicist in Oppenheimer, the 47-year-old learned 30,000 words of Dutch for a minor scene in the film.
If that wasn’t intense enough, the Peaky Blinders star also had a gruelling diet in order to play the slim scientist - which would make most people want to quit the film entirely.
This included practising Dutch for a single scene, where the scientist gives a lecture to students overseas.
Unsurprisingly, he didn’t rely on Duolingo either but did explain how he did it to NBC Insider.
"You break it down and say, 'Alright, we need to work on this today’,” he revealed to the tabloid, adding: “I used to set aside, 'I'll work on this for a week and I'll work on that for a week’.”
However, the 47-year-old did have some support on set with more complex sounds and words.
"The Dutch, our [Director of Photography] Hoyte van Hoytema is Dutch so I got him to record the Dutch into my phone,” he said, stating that he would regularly listen to the recordings.
Murphy’s feat is all the more impressive given that the actor avoided spending time with his co-stars to practise.
According to his co-star Robert Downey Jr., Cillian would even avoid hanging out on weekends.
He told People: "I have never witnessed a greater sacrifice by a lead actor in my career.”
"We'd be like, 'Hey, we got a three-day weekend. Maybe we'll go antiquing in Santa Fe. What are you going to do?' 'Oh, I have to learn 30,000 words of Dutch. Have a nice time.' But that's the nature of the task."
The Marvel actor wasn’t the only one impressed with Murphy’s intense off-screen preparation though.
His co-star Emily Blunt also revealed that he undertook an insane diet to get the gaunt look of the real-life Oppenheimer.
“Cillian had to [remove himself from the antics on set] because he had such a monumental undertaking,” she told Extra, adding: “…he could only eat, like, an almond every day because he was so emaciated."
However, the preparation was well worth it as Murphy delivered an incredible performance with huge Oscar buzz already about Oppenheimer.
Here’s hoping he gets that golden statue.