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Liam Cunningham ‘nearly eloped’ with Cillian Murphy


Liam Cunningham has said that Oscar winner Cillian Murphy’s talent was so apparent early on that he “nearly eloped with him”.

Cunningham was a guest on Sunday with Miriam on RTÉ Radio 1 to discuss his new Netflix sci-fi series 3 Body Problem when talk turned to the Best Actor Oscar winner.

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“You worked, obviously, with him on The Wind That Shakes the Barley, also in Breakfast on Pluto, and also, I think, another one called Sweety Barrett. Did you spot his talent early on, Liam?” asked the host.

“I tell you something, as soon as I saw him, I nearly eloped with him! The man is gorgeous!” Cunningham replied.

“He’s incredibly talented. He’s been in the game a long time. I think Sweety Barrett I did with him and Brendan Gleeson – that was one of the first things he did. And then we did Breakfast on Pluto and you saw the transformation of him there.

“I mean, you know, with Oppenheimer, he’s in almost every frame, playing this quite reserved character in a three-hour movie, and most deservedly got the Oscar.

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“In fact, I did a podcast last May with Eddie Jordan, I’m a big Formula One fan. When I did the podcast, he had just finished the movie and I predicted – I’m stupid, I should have put a 50 euro note [on him]! – that he was going to pick up the Oscar for Best Actor! And whatever it is, eight, nine months later, he did.

“He’s wonderful – and we’ve a whole list here. Andrew Scott, I was on stage in London with in a Billy Roche play. Look at Paul Mescal, Jessie Buckley. Look where we are with Saoirse Ronan, never mind Gabriel [Byrne] and Liam Neeson, and everyone. Listen, we punch well above our weight.”

As for his current adventures in the screen trade, Cunningham described 3 Body Problem, which reunites him with Game of Thrones writers and showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss, as “a glorious story”.

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“I know there’s people out there who kind of go, ‘Eugh, science fiction is not really my bag’,” he conceded. “And I was one of them on Game of Thrones – fantasy was not really my bag – but they burst that genre open and this is a really human story.”

3 Body Problem is available on Netflix.

Sunday with Miriam, RTÉ Radio 1, 10:00am

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