One almond a night, skipping dinners: How Cillian Murphy lost weight for ‘Oppenheimer’


To prepare for the titular role in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, Hollywood actor Cillian Murphy followed a strict diet — so strict that sometimes, he would eat only one almond at night.

The film, which released in the UAE, is based on the life of the ‘the father of the atomic bomb’, Robert Oppenheimer.

Murphy had to lose his weight drastically as he wanted to look as close to Robert Oppenheimer as possible. Speaking to The New York Times, the Peaky Blinders actor shared that physicist Oppenheimer was a “very slim” person who “existed on martinis and cigarettes”.

“I love acting with my body, and Oppenheimer had a very distinct physicality and silhouette, which I wanted to get right. I had to lose quite a bit of weight, and we worked with the costume and tailoring; he was very slim, almost emaciated, existed on martinis and cigarettes,” Murphy said.

According to the actor, he had such a busy schedule shooting Oppenheimer that he was not “worrying about food or anything”. However, he added that it “was good because the character was like that. He never ate,” reported The Guardian.

Murphy’s co-stars Emily Blunt and Matt Damon revealed that he would skip cast dinners as he was dieting for the role. Damon said he would invite Murphy every night for dinner “and he never went”. Meanwhile, Blunt shared that Murphy would instead eat “one almond most nights or a little slice of apple”, according to Insider.

Highlighting Murphy’s transformation, Blunt, in an interview with Extra TV, said, “He had such a monumental undertaking. And he could only eat, like, an almond every day”. She added, “He was so emaciated”.

Murphy offers a word of caution on following such a diet. He told Indie Wire, “You become competitive with yourself a little bit which is not healthy. I don’t advise it.”


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