Cillian Murphy insisted his “Oppenheimer” sex scenes with Florence Pugh were “not gratuitous.”
The Irish actor, 47, who stars as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan’s summer blockbuster, spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald about Pugh’s brief role in the film.
“Those scenes were written deliberately,” Murphy said of his sex scenes with the “Little Women” star, 27, who portrayed his mistress, Jean Tatlock.
“He [Nolan] knew that those scenes would get the movie the rating that it got. And I think when you see it, it’s so f—ing powerful,” the actor told the Australian newspaper earlier this week.
“And they’re not gratuitous. They’re perfect. And Florence is just amazing.”
Oppenheimer, who was dubbed the “father of the atomic bomb,” was involved with Tatlock prior to and during his marriage to wife Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, who is played in the film by Emily Blunt.
“I think she’s f—ing phenomenal,” Murphy further gushed of Pugh.
“She has this presence as a person and on screen that is staggering. The impact she has [in ‘Oppenheimer’] for the size of the role, it’s quite devastating.”
The R-rated historical drama has already earned $80.5 million in its opening weekend, Variety reported.
Alongside Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” the two films have become a cultural craze known as “Barbenheimer,” which made their joint opening weekend the fourth-biggest overall weekend in cinema history.
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“Oppenheimer” also stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Hartnett, Matt Damon and Rami Malek, among others.
Murphy previously spoke about his commitment to lose weight for the film, which charts several decades of the Manhattan Project physicist’s life between the 1920s and 1960s.
“I love acting with my body, and Oppenheimer had a very distinct physicality and silhouette, which I wanted to get right,” the “Peaky Blinders” star told the New York Times in May.
“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.”
However, Murphy emphasized that his dieting tactics weren’t safe, and he wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else.
“You become competitive with yourself a little bit, which is not healthy,” he told The Guardian earlier this month.
He further clarified, “I don’t advise it.”