Cilian Murphy: Oppenheimer vs Peaky Blinders

Cillian Murphy is undoubtedly one of the most versatile actors of his generation, known for his ability to seamlessly transition between roles in both film and television. While he starred in many movies and series over the years, his performances in Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” and the acclaimed series “Peaky Blinders” have gained a lot of critical acclaim and got him a dedicated fan base. But his roles were very different in these two productions, so we wanted to compare his roles as J. Robert Oppenheimer and Tommy Shelby in terms of acting, costumes, and the overall cinematic experiences. If you’re a film enthusiast, both of these are worth seeing, so if you haven’t already, check them out on Imdb.


Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece “Oppenheimer” perfectly showcases his remarkable acting talent. Oppenheimer is a complex historical figure known for his “founding father” role in the development of the atomic bomb. This role holds a lot of weight so it required a nuanced and layered performance from the actor who played it. And this is why Cilian Murphy’s interpretation has been so positively described. He did an amazing job conveying the inner turmoil and moral dilemmas of Oppenheimer throughout the film and managed to keep the audience engaged.

In contrast, his role as Tommy Shelby in “Peaky Blinders” is what made him popular to a wider audience, the series gaining a lot of views. His commanding presence, combined with a distinctive Birmingham accent, makes Tommy Shelby one of the most memorable characters in recent television history. And by comparison, Cilian Murphy’s transformation from a hardened gang leader to a conflicted family man is proof of his versatility as an actor. 

Costumes and wardrobe

“Oppenheimer”, being a historical movie, offers a unique opportunity for Cillian Murphy to step into the fashion style of the 1940s, reflecting the film’s historical context. As Oppenheimer, he is seen in tailored suits and period-appropriate fits, which adds a lot of authenticity to his character. The attention to detail in costume design contributes to the immersive experience of the film and had a lot of positive reviews by renowned critics.

On the other hand, “Peaky Blinders” sets its viewers in post-World War I Birmingham, where Tommy Shelby’s distinctive wardrobe has become an integral part of the show’s identity. We see the same formal attire, but adapted to the gang vibe of the series. The razor-blade-studded flat caps, tailored three-piece suits, and overcoats create an iconic look for the character and have even influenced contemporary fashion trends. The flat caps became an iconic part of the series, so if you want to get one yourself, you can do that here: One thing is sure, Cilian’s interpretation of Tommy Shelby is definitely influenced by the wardrobe elements. 

Overall cinematic experience

As one of the most awaited movies of the year, “Oppenheimer” promises to be a thought-provoking and visually stunning film. And it successfully achieved that thanks to the combined talents of Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy. The historical importance of the subject together with Cilian Murphy’s immersive performance has given the audience a captivating movie that also serves as a history lesson. 

In contrast, “Peaky Blinders” became popular because of its gritty storytelling, powerful performances, and stylish cinematography. Cillian Murphy’s presence as Tommy Shelby has been a big reason behind the show’s success, offering viewers a glimpse into the dark and intriguing world of post-war Birmingham gangs. We’re sure that Tommy Shelby couldn’t have been more iconic than Cilian Murphy made him.