Cillian Murphy Calls Oppenheimer ‘Naive,’ Says He’s Open to Playing a Ken in ‘Barbie 2’: ‘Let’s Read the Script’ and ‘Have a Conversation’

Cillian Murphy is the star of Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” but is he ready to embrace the pink? Given the “Barbenheimer” craze that’s sweeping the nation, Murphy has naturally been asked a lot about Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie.” Cinéfilos even asked the “Oppenheimer” actor if he’d play a Ken in a potential sequel to Gerwig’s now historic comedy blockbuster.

“Sure, yeah. Let’s read the script, let’s have a conversation,” Murphy responded about playing Ken. “I can’t wait to see [‘Barbie’]. I can’t wait to see the movie. I think it’s great for cinema to get all these great movies happening this summer.”

“Barbie” opened to a massive $162 million during its opening weekend, but “Oppenheimer” was no slouch. The film debuted to a huge $82 million, a staggering number considering Nolan’s latest is a talky, three-hour biographical drama that’s also rated R.

Nolan told IGN ahead of both films opening in theaters that “it’s terrific” to have two summer tentpoles being released together.

“Summer, in a healthy marketplace, is always crowded, and we’ve been doing this a long time,” Nolan said. “I think for those of us who care about movies, we’ve been really waiting to have a crowded marketplace again, and now it’s here and that’s terrific.”

Murphy agreed with Nolan, telling IGN: “I think it’s great. I mean, I’ll be going to see ‘Barbie.’ I can’t wait to see it. I think it’s just great for the industry and for audiences that we have two amazing films by amazing filmmakers coming out the same day. Could spend a whole day in the cinema, what’s better than that?”

Whether or not Murphy becomes a Ken remains to be seen. For now, he’s still processing everything that went into becoming J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who created the atomic bomb during World War II. Murphy went through dramatic isolation periods and weight loss during filming, so much so that Robert Downey Jr. said he’s never seen an actor sacrifice more for a role than Murphy in “Oppenheimer.” Is Oppenheimer a hero or a villain? The discussion is a nuanced one for Murphy.

“I do think that he believed it would be the weapon to end all wars,” Murphy recently told NME. “He thought that [having the bomb] would motivate countries to form a sort of nuclear world governance. He was naive.”

Murphy added that Nolan helped him unlock the more nuanced parts of Oppenheimer’s character. “Chris used this amazing phrase,” he said. “We were talking about Oppenheimer’s arc and he said, ‘You know, he’s dancing between the raindrops morally.’ That unlocked something in my mind when I was preparing.”

“Oppenheimer” is now playing in theaters nationwide from Universal Pictures.

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