Cillian Murphy, arguably best known for his recent role as Tommy Shelby in the hit BBC television series Peaky Blinders, has selected five of his favourite films.

While Murphy’s portrayal of the Birmingham gangster has earned him international acclaim since its creation in 2013, the actor spent a large portion of his early career committed to short and independent film projects and has an almost unquenchable thirst for cinema.

His award-winning performance in 2001 short film Disco Pigs firmly cemented his position in the acting world and the larger roles soon followed. Teaming up with Danny Boyle on post-apocalyptic horror 28 Days Later, Murphy enjoyed a prolific string of performances in films such as Cold MountainIntermission and Breakfast on Pluto—a picture which ultimately earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

Successful roles in films such as Sunshine, Inception and Batman films of The Dark Knight Trilogy all exhibited Murphy’s wide-ranging skills honed from years of theatre and independent performances. A cinephile at heart, Murphy has worked alongside noted directors such as Christopher Nolan, Ken Loach, Wes Craven, and Neil Jordan as he prolifically delivers on the big screen.

Now, as part of a feature with Rotten Tomatoes, Murphy has selected five films he considers to be part of his all-time favourites. Kicking things off, he selected Jerry Schatzberg film Scarecrow and noted its heavy influence on his life: “I rented this film by mistake when I was 15 with my brother,” he said. “They told us it was a scary movie. It pretty much made me want to be an actor. Al Pacino will break your heart. And Gene Hackman will break your other heart.”

With Al Pacino in mind, Murphy moved on to one of the iconic actor’s closest collaborators with the great Martin Scorsese. “Another very early formative film for me,” he said after selection Mean Streets. “Extraordinary energy and performances from De Niro and Keitel, with Scorsese beginning to cast a spell over filmmaking in the 1970s.”

With some more surprise selections included, see the full list below.

Cillian Murphy’s 5 favourite films:

  • Scarecrow – Jerry Schatzberg, 1973
  • Mean Streets – Martin Scorsese, 1973.
  • La Haine – Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995.
  • The Butcher Boy – Neil Jordan, 1997.
  • The Night of the Hunter – Charles Laughton, 1955.

When discussing the earliest film of his selection, Charles Laughton’s 1955 effort The Night of the Hunter, Murphy said: “A masterpiece visually and in so many ways, but also a tragedy as Charles Laughton only directed this one film. Robert Mitchum is so rivetingly magnetic.”

See the full story, here.

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