“From Page to Screen: Cillian Murphy’s Encounter with the Bhagavad Gita for ‘Oppenheimer'”

Cillian Murphy Reveals He Read Bhagavad Gita to Prepare for Film


Cillian Murphy, renowned for his versatile acting skills and captivating performances, has consistently impressed audiences with his ability to embody a wide range of characters. In his latest endeavor, the film “Oppenheimer,” Murphy’s commitment to authenticity and depth led him on a unique journey of preparation. One intriguing aspect of his process was delving into the spiritual realm by studying the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient philosophical text from India. This article explores how Murphy’s exploration of the Gita influenced his performance and showcases his dedication to bringing characters to life.

Cillian Murphy: A Versatile Actor

Throughout his career, Cillian Murphy has showcased his extraordinary range as an actor. From his breakthrough role in “28 Days Later” to his mesmerizing portrayal of Thomas Shelby in “Peaky Blinders,” Murphy has captivated audiences with his ability to inhabit diverse characters. His commitment to his craft and the depth he brings to each role have made him a respected figure in the industry.

The Journey of “Oppenheimer”

“Oppenheimer” is a highly anticipated film that revolves around the life and work of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a renowned physicist who played a pivotal role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. The film delves into Oppenheimer’s complex persona and the moral dilemmas he faced. Murphy, known for his penchant for challenging roles, took on the task of portraying this iconic figure, and his preparation process was meticulous and thorough.

Cillian Murphy’s Preparation Process

To truly embody the essence of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Murphy engaged in extensive research and preparation. His commitment to understanding the character in-depth involved immersing himself in Oppenheimer’s world, studying historical records, and consulting with experts. However, Murphy’s preparation for “Oppenheimer” went beyond conventional methods. Seeking a deeper connection to the character, he turned to philosophical and spiritual sources of inspiration, including the Bhagavad Gita.

The Bhagavad Gita: A Source of Inspiration

The Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as the Gita, is a sacred text from ancient India that is part of the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. It is a philosophical conversation between Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna, who serves as his charioteer. The Gita explores profound teachings on life, duty, self-realization, and the nature of existence. Its messages transcend time and culture, offering insights into the human experience and the paths to spiritual enlightenment.

Understanding the Bhagavad Gita

Central to the Bhagavad Gita is the concept of dharma, the inherent duty or purpose of an individual. It emphasizes the importance of fulfilling one’s duties with dedication, integrity, and detachment from the fruits of action. The Gita also delves into various yogic paths, including Karma Yoga (the path of selfless action), Bhakti Yoga (the path of devotion), and Jnana Yoga (the path of knowledge). The teachings of the Gita provide profound guidance on navigating the complexities of life and finding inner peace.

Impact on Murphy’s Performance

Murphy’s exploration of the Bhagavad Gita had a profound impact on his portrayal of Oppenheimer. The Gita’s teachings on duty, self-realization, and the nature of existence resonated deeply with Murphy, and he integrated these philosophical insights into his understanding of the character. The Gita’s emphasis on the interplay between action and consequence, as well as the ethical dilemmas faced by Oppenheimer, helped shape Murphy’s nuanced performance.

By immersing himself in the teachings of the Gita, Murphy gained a new perspective on the complex moral landscape in which Oppenheimer operated. This deeper understanding allowed him to tap into Oppenheimer’s internal conflicts, dilemmas, and the weight of his choices. Murphy’s portrayal of Oppenheimer was marked by a sense of depth and introspection that captivated audiences and added layers of complexity to the character.

Embracing New Perspectives

Murphy’s exploration of the Bhagavad Gita highlights his willingness to embrace new perspectives and delve into the depths of human experience. By incorporating the Gita’s teachings into his preparation process, he not only enriched his portrayal of Oppenheimer but also expanded his own understanding of the human condition. This open-mindedness and thirst for knowledge are the hallmarks of a truly dedicated actor committed to his craft.

In embracing new perspectives, Murphy demonstrated that great acting transcends the boundaries of culture, time, and belief systems. His journey with the Bhagavad Gita serves as an inspiration for actors and artists to explore diverse sources of inspiration, allowing them to bring authenticity and depth to their performances.


Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer in the film “Oppenheimer” stands as a testament to his unwavering commitment to his craft. By delving into the philosophical teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Murphy gained profound insights that influenced his understanding of the character and added a layer of depth to his performance. His willingness to explore new perspectives and embrace diverse sources of inspiration sets a remarkable example for aspiring actors. Through his dedication, Murphy continues to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impact in the world of cinema.


  1. Q1:Did Cillian Murphy learn Sanskrit to read the Bhagavad Gita?                                                                                                                                                                                                  A1:While Sanskrit is the original language of the Bhagavad Gita, Murphy studied translated versions of the text in English.
  2. Q2:How did reading the Bhagavad Gita influence Murphy’s approach to the role?                                                                                                                                                                          A2:The Gita’s teachings provided Murphy with insights into moral dilemmas, duty, and self-realization, which helped shape his portrayal of Oppenheimer.
  3. Q3:Are there any other books that influenced Murphy’s performance in “Oppenheimer”?                                                                                                                                                              A3:While the Bhagavad Gita had a significant impact, Murphy engaged in extensive research, consulting historical records and expert opinions to fully embody the character.
  4. Q4:Has Murphy spoken about his experience preparing for the film?                                                                                                                                                                                        A4:Murphy has expressed his dedication to thoroughly understanding his roles and his commitment to exploring various sources of inspiration.
  5. Q1:What other roles has Cillian Murphy received critical acclaim for?                                                                                                                                                                                            A5:Murphy’s roles in “28 Days Later,” “Peaky Blinders,” and “The Dark Knight Trilogy” are among the notable performances that have garnered critical acclaim throughout his career.

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