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Five of Cillian Murphy's Most Memorable Performances

Cillian Murphy is an easily recognisable actor, best known for his on-screen intensity. The Irishman is the star of the highly anticipated Christopher Nolan film, Oppenheimer. He plays the title role of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who led the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb. A highly respected actor with a long history of playing complex and challenging roles, Murphy is known for his ability to bring a sense of realism and intensity to his performances.

In the lead role as Oppenheimer, Murphy will be tasked with portraying a brilliant yet flawed man, who helped to develop one of the most destructive weapons in human history. Sharing a physical resemblance to J. Robert Oppenheimer and being a regular Nolan collaborator, his complexity and nuance of the performance is sure to be one of the film's highlights. Murphy is well-suited to the role of Oppenheimer, reflecting a complex and troubled man who struggled with the moral implications of his work.

Cillian Murphy 5 Memorable Performances

While Murphy has been an ever-present force in Hollywood over the last few decades, he's been a dark horse and hopefully this considerable platform will give him the opportunity he so rightfully deserves to showcase a full range performance. His instantly recognisable face makes it easy to remember where you've seen the actor before, having made in-roads in films with a psychological thriller element such as: Red Eye, Sunshine, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

Cillian Murphy is a versatile actor who's starred in a wide range of films. His work is sure to continue to entertain audiences for years to come. In anticipation of Oppenheimer it's worth taking a walk down memory lane to chronicle some of his best and most memorable performances.

28 Days Later (2002)

This post-apocalyptic thriller follows a group of survivors as they try to make their way through a London that has been overrun by infected people. Murphy plays Jim, a bicycle courier who wakes up from a coma to find the world in chaos. Murphy's performance has been praised for its realism, its intensity, and its emotional depth. He brings a real sense of humanity to the role of Jim, even as he's forced to do some pretty horrific things. His performance is one of the things that makes 28 Days Later such a powerful and memorable film.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)

This historical drama tells the story of two brothers who fight on opposite sides of the Irish War of Independence. Murphy plays Damien O'Donovan, a young man who joins the IRA after witnessing atrocities committed by the British. One of the things that makes Murphy's performance so effective is the way he shows the gradual transformation of Damien O'Donovan from a reluctant participant in the war to a committed revolutionary. Murphy captures the way that Damien's idealism is slowly eroded by the violence and bloodshed that he witnesses. As the film progresses, Damien becomes increasingly hardened and ruthless, and Murphy conveys this change with heartbreaking realism.

Inception (2010)

This science fiction thriller follows a team of thieves who steal information by entering people's dreams. Murphy plays Robert Fischer, the son of a wealthy businessman who is the target of the team's latest heist. One of the things that makes Murphy's performance so effective is the way he conveys Fischer's inner turmoil. Fischer is a young man who is struggling to come to terms with his father's legacy. He is torn between his desire to honor his father's wishes and his own need to break free from his father's control. Murphy perfectly captures this inner conflict, and he makes Fischer a truly relatable character.

A Quiet Place Part II (2020)

The sequel to A Quiet Place, this film follows the Abbott family as they meet Emmett, played by Murphy, and continue their journey in the post-apocalyptic world. Murphy's performance conveys Emmett's quiet intensity, vulnerability and inner turmoil. Emmett is a man who has lost everything. He has lost his family, his friends, and his home. He is struggling to find a reason to keep going, and he is haunted by the guilt of surviving when so many others have not. Murphy perfectly captures this inner conflict, and he makes Emmett a truly relatable character.

Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)

While not a film, Peaky Blinders is one of Murphy's longest recurring roles. The British crime drama series follows the Shelby family, a gang of gangsters in Birmingham, England, in the aftermath of World War I. Murphy plays Thomas Michael Shelby, the leader of the Shelby family. The series has been praised for its stylish visuals, its complex characters, and Murphy's iconic performance. Thomas is a man who is constantly struggling with his own demons. He's a ruthless gangster who's willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family and his business. However, he is also a loving father who is deeply troubled by the violence he has committed. Murphy perfectly captures this inner conflict, and he makes Thomas Shelby a truly complex and relatable character.

Hollywood Writers' Strike Enters Third Month

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, which began just after May Day, is now in its third month. The strike is the first major work stoppage in Hollywood in 15 years, and it has had a significant impact on the entertainment industry.

The sentiment behind this action is in order to recalibrate the system. As everyone knows, writers are the heart and soul of television and film. Without their considerable creativity and hard-fought efforts, there would be no shows or movies. The writers' strike takes a classic narrative device as a David vs. Goliath story. The studios have all the power, but the writers are not going to give up until they get a fair deal.

Writer's Strike Act 2

The WGA is seeking better compensation for its members, including higher pay for streaming residuals and more transparency in how studios calculate those payments. The guild is also calling for changes to the writers' credit system, which it says is unfair to writers who work on collaborative projects.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the studios, has offered some concessions to the WGA, but the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement. The AMPTP has said that it is willing to increase pay for streaming residuals, but it has refused to make changes to the credit system.

The strike has had a major impact on Hollywood production. All scripted television production has come to a halt, and several film projects have been delayed. The strike has also had a ripple effect on the economy, as it has led to job losses in the catering, transportation, and other industries that support Hollywood production.

It is unclear how long the strike will last. Both sides have said that they are committed to reaching an agreement, but they have also said that they are prepared to continue the strike for as long as necessary.

The strike has been met with mixed reactions. Some people have praised the WGA for standing up for its members, while others have criticized the strike for disrupting Hollywood production. It remains to be seen how the strike will ultimately be resolved, but it is clear that it has had a significant impact on the entertainment industry.

What's at Stake in the Writers' Strike

The writers' strike is about more than just money. It's about the future of writing in Hollywood. The guild is also seeking changes to the way that writers are credited for their work, as well as more transparency in how studios calculate streaming residuals.

The current credit framework is based on a point system, with each writer receiving a certain number of points for their contributions to a project. The number of points that a writer receives determines their position in the credits. The WGA is calling for a system that is based on the actual work that writers do, rather than a point system.

The studios have also been criticized for their lack of transparency when it comes to methods of calculating streaming residuals. Residuals are payments that are made to writers when their work is re-aired or streamed. The studios have refused to disclose how they calculate these payments, which has made it difficult for writers to know how much they are owed.

The WGA is also seeking changes to the way that writers are paid for their work on streaming platforms. The studios have argued that streaming platforms are a new and untested market, and that they need more time to develop a fair system for compensating writers. The WGA has countered that the studios are simply trying to take advantage of writers who are not as well-informed about the streaming market.

The writers' strike is a complex issue, and there are no easy answers. However, it is clear that the strike is about more than just money. The WGA is also seeking changes to the way that writers are treated in the entertainment industry. The outcome of the strike will have a significant impact on the future of writing in Hollywood.

The Fairy Tales We Tell Ourselves About Piracy

It's funny to think that it's still so prevalent in an age where we've never had so much readily available and inexpensive entertainment at our fingertips. Most pirates have to pay for their data, unless they're stealing wi-fi too, so why not enjoy the millions of hours of free-to-stream content on YouTube. Beyond the freemium streaming models, there are numerous streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and Showmax to choose from at relatively inexpensive subscriptions. Whether music or movies, it seems it's not enough to have first-rate entertainment just a click away. The desire to circumvent the system to land the latest TV series or movies illegally seems like all the reason pirates need to justify their actions.

The Fairy Tales We Tell Ourselves About Piracy

While we may not like to think about it, we're the best at fooling ourselves, able to justify almost anything with enough obfuscation. We say things like "I usually pay for my entertainment" or "I'm not harming anyone" or "One or two downloads from time to time won't have an impact". This is why piracy is so difficult to combat, trying to curtail the crisis from the point of the end-users who are enabling a criminal empire. While it's important to educate around the knock-on effect of piracy, regulators and providers are realising it's not enough. This is why local agencies are changing the way they fight piracy by focusing on tracking their way back up to the command chain.

Perhaps the real confusion stems from the word's close links with pirates of the high sea, who in spite of Johnny Depp's best efforts, are often portrayed in a heroic light. Just like the perpetuation of the infamous Pirate Bay, the idea of sailing the seven seas as a freedom-loving and rum-swilling vagabond, doesn't seem all that bad. The truth of the matter is that there's no honour among pirates because they're thieves, there to pillage and harm while the sun shines. Piracy has a macro and micro impact, which many perpetrators fail to understand. Unfortunately, whether through apathy or ignorance these people are unwittingly sabotaging the industry, undermining the enterprises and subsequently the players themselves.

The constant epidemic of piracy, affects industry professionals, including publishing, TV, animation, sports, cinema, music, and gaming. Irdeto, a global leader in digital platform cybersecurity, reports that between June and August 2021, people in five major African territories visited the top 10 identified piracy websites a total of about 17.4 million times to download content illegally. On the world stage, digital video piracy costs the entertainment industry up to $71 billion year*, damaging businesses and destroying lives and livelihoods in an economy still reeling after Covid.

Content platforms stop commissioning local content when the local industry is no longer feasible due to content piracy and copyright violations, and local material is therefore readily replaced by less expensive, often international alternatives. Even though it might be more economical, importing content stunts the development of the regional industry, locally-produced content and efforts to create jobs.

According to Justice and Constitutional Development minister Ronald Lamola, "digital technologies" such as Netflix and Showmax are "opening up new markets", showing an eagerness to invest in South Africa's film industry but piracy has the potential to collapse the industry. A negative impact on our economy and creative professionals, "we run the risk of reversing gains" if our "we are not seen as a country where intellectual property is respected and protected".

The Cybercrimes Act, introduced in December 2021, allows the government to tackle piracy by imposing harsher sentences on dealers and sellers, "who manipulate intellectual property to the detriment of society". Lamola believes that state resources could be used more wisely when it comes to specialised commercial crime units, who typically confiscate goods and arrest traders, saying the battle against intellectual property crimes will rely on an improved system being able to resolve collaborative, jurisdictional and technological challenges to "identify and arrest the leaders of intellectual property crimes" who live across the globe.

Partners Against Piracy (PAP) is a pan-African campaign to tackle content piracy, an initiative that aims to inform and educate the public about the impacts of piracy. This partnership between governmental organizations, law enforcement organizations, distributors, content producers, and rights holders has already had results thanks to a joint operation between law enforcement agents and content-piracy detectives in apprehending a group peddling content around the Showmax series, The Wife.

*US Chamber of Commerce's Global Innovation Policy Center

Who's Who in the Hollywood Zoo?

What happened to the next generation of movie stars? It seems as though we've been hanging onto the same name actors for ages. Tom Cruise was a star in Top Gun in 1986 and nothing's really changed if you consider the amazing response to the follow-up some 35 years later. Having starred in Interview with a Vampire, there are some obvious parallels given the actor's multi-generational film career and while no one's holding out for him to reboot The Highlander, any attempt may be more biographical than we'd initially expected.

The new generation of Hollywood heavyweights are still rather lightweight at the moment if you consider the new Spider-Man on the block in Tom Holland. Being the primary next-gen star who seems burdened by all hopes and dreams, you can understand the actor taking a one-year hiatus. If you take a closer look, it seems most of the buzz is around Spider-Man, Harry Potter and Dune cast members in Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe. While the latter are still trying to shed their Hogwart's, it seems as though the industry's tendency to bank on safer options and share the load among broader ensembles is having an unfortunate knock-on effect in not vetting fresh talent.

who's who in the hollywood zoo

We're still de-aging and upcycling the old guard. While it seems that Jack Nicholson has finally exited stage left, the same can't be said for 80-year-old, Harrison Ford, who's more prolific than ever with Yellowstone and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. There's a band of "Flagship Brands", headline acts who still seem to be alive and kicking... think Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt, Mark Wahlberg, Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington, Dwayne Johnson, Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson and yes, even Will Smith.

If these bankable stars are still sitting pretty, you've got to give all due respect to the legacy projects. Able to navigate their way through the highs and lows of Hollywood, their stars may have been tarnished at some point but are characterised by the sentiment of "I've Still Got It, Damnit!". Among this legendary selection of never-say-die fighters you'll find the likes of: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Daniel Craig, Sylvester Stallone, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Murray, Sandra Bullock, Jason Statham, Liam Neeson, Jackie Chan, Vin Diesel, Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Gerard Butler, Patrick Stewart, Jennifer Aniston, Milla Jovovich, Clint Eastwood, Michelle Yeoh and Johnny Depp.

While many of the aforementioned actors have managed to find a healthy balance of publicity and performance, garnering accolades and big pay days, they're only shamed by a purer kind of Hollywood animal. The lesser-spotted "Shut Up, I'm in Character" movie star. These creatures are more concerned with the actual art of camouflage and shapeshifting. Leaning into the light and dark of their roles, they suspend ego (to a degree) in order to mine the depths of their characters in the hopes that somebody notices enough to put them on a pedestal. More revered than remunerated, Daniel Day-Lewis would be their cult leader. The list of actor actors includes: Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Colin Firth, James McAvoy, Kate Winslet, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep, Javier Bardem, Hugh Jackman, Geoffrey Rush, Andy Serkis, Michael Fassbender, Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Tom Hardy, Willem Dafoe, Eddie Redmayne, Jessica Chastain, Tilda Swinton, Jesse Eisenberg, Bill Nighy, Joaquin Phoenix, Hugh Grant, Jennifer Connelly, Jeff Bridges, Andrew Garfield, Viola Davis, Edward Norton, Michael Shannon, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Ethan Hawke, Gary Oldman, Paul Dano, Toni Collette, Benedict Cumberbatch and Rooney Mara.

As amazing as dramatic actors can be, they're at least a little bit envious of another species of actor... "The Funny Guys". These charming critters hold the power of laughter. It has medicinal value as scientifically-proven and if given in the right doses can prove to be very lucrative at the box office. Whether blessed with the gift of the gab, naturally funny-looking or organically self-deprecating and immune to ridicule, this amusing collective may not win Oscars all that easily but are sure to be the life of the party... readily landing laughs all the way to the bank. In this cluster, you'll find actors like: Steve Carell, Ryan Reynolds, Paul Rudd, Adam Sandler, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Sacha Baron Cohen, Zach Galifianakis, Melissa McCarthy, Vince Vaughn, Ed Helms and Anna Kendrick.

In the delicious here and now, we're trying to figure out who's actually leading the current generation of acting talents. The superhero craze has created a draft or blueprint on who we should be giving more attention. Although packing actors into these spectacular sardine cans means we can't easily separate stars from CGI and each other. Known as "The Contenders", these actors have shown promise... and been given great responsibility, however as much as we love them... none have truly gone from good to great, transcending the celluloid to the point of decade-defying legend. This talented and possibly underappreciated lot includes: Emily Blunt, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Gosling, Gal Gadot, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Olsen, Idris Elba, Adam Driver, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Chris Pine, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Michael B. Jordan, Emma Stone, Dave Bautista, Rami Malek, Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chloë Grace Moretz, Zoë Kravitz, Tye Sheridan, Ansel Elgort and Nicholas Hoult.

Spare a thought for the "I Know That Face" brigade, a collective of talents who have consistently delivered the goods but haven't managed to assume household name fame. Their tireless efforts are duly noted come awards season but through non-star name appropriation or niche dynasty, they haven't quite done enough to win mainstream appeal. A gold mine of serious acts with supporting act potential, these players are constantly nipping at the heels, recognisable yet unable to latch onto enough pop culture capital to get tongues wagging... yet. A diligent bunch who you'll keep recognising until you feel compelled to Google and say their names in front of the mirror, they include: Karl Urban, Rebecca Ferguson, Taron Egerton, Mads Mikkelson, Christoph Waltz, Riz Ahmed, Dan Stevens, Domhnall Gleeson, Felicity Jones, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Emilia Clarke, Shailene Woodley, Alicia Vikander, Vera Farmiga, Gael Garcia Bernal, Alexander Skarsgård, Marion Cotillard, Paul Bettany, Mark Strong, William H. Macy, Mark Rylance, Sean Harris and yes, his name is William Fichtner.

Finally, one of the rarest of these Hollywood movie stars can be best described as "Which Planet Are You From?". These astronomical actors have an innate out-of-the-box sensibility, able to operate by raw intuition and fascinating enough to occupy any role with a degree of flamboyance. Much like cats, we're left wondering what they're really thinking... enigmatic and spacey enough to question the very essence of what it means to be human. A very rare and exquisite species, they are few in number but come to encompass the likes of Jeff Goldblum, Bill Hader, John Malkovich, Taika Waititi, Tony Hale, Jermaine Clement.

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