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Oppenheimer: Where You've Seen Cillian Murphy & Emily Blunt Together Before

"Oppenheimer" is exploding with A-list talent. From Oscar winners to superheroes, to indie darlings, "Oppenheimer" has every working actor imaginable. At the heart of the film is Cillian Murphy, who plays the titular scientist. While Murphy has worked with Christopher Nolan several times – he's best remembered for playing Scarecrow in "The Dark Knight" trilogy — "Oppenheimer" marks the first time Murphy is populating a lead role for the director. Joining Murphy in the three-hour biopic is Emily Blunt, who stars as Katherine Oppenheimer, the scientist's wife. "Oppenheimer" marks the first time Blunt is working with Nolan.

Nolan's biopic is equally interested in showing Oppenheimer's personal life as it is obsessed with showing the ramifications of the atomic bomb. Throughout its three-hour runtime, "Oppenheimer" dives deep into the scientist's psyche, peeling back the layers of his thought process and familial relationships. While Oppenheimer is busy developing an atomic bomb for the Americans, he's also trying his best to focus on his marriage with Katherine, who he shares children with.

One major highlight of the film is Murphy and Blunt's on-screen chemistry. It makes sense that fireworks are lighting up between the two considering they've worked together in the past. Murphy joined Blunt for "A Quiet Place Part II," playing the mysterious Emmett. For Blunt, working with Murphy again on "Oppenheimer" was a perfect scenario. "I adore him as a person," Blunt said to NBC. "He's a friend — I loved working with him before. We have a lot of trust with each other." Blunt continued by discussing how being able to work with somebody she has a history with allows her a sense of freedom in the scene. "It's like a sort of secret language or something," Blunt suggested.

Emily Blunt explains why she loves working with Cillian Murphy

While Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt are friends in real life, thanks to their working relationship from "A Quiet Place Part II," their characters in "Oppenheimer" are at odds with one another. Sure, Oppenheimer and Katherine are married, but their relationship certainly isn't perfect — something Blunt was excited to explore. "And I loved that going into this and walking in the shoes of this rather tempestuous couple that we knew each other," Blunt added, teasing the conflicting relationship her character has with Oppenheimer in the film.

"Oppenheimer" shows the titular character embarking on an affair with Jean Tatlock, played by Florence Pugh in the film. Because Oppenheimer and Katherine are in different emotional situations, it makes sense that both Murphy and Blunt had different methods of approaching their performances. For Blunt, it was liberating to have shared experience with Murphy, as it allowed the two to adapt their performances to suit each other's liking. "So we understood all the nuance of how the other one liked to work but I think the scenes with Cillian because he's so transporting, they always sort of take on a different life than what's on the page and that's why I love working with him so much," Blunt added.

In a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy opened up about what it was like to reunite with his "A Quiet Place Part II" co-star. "I think you get something for free when you work with people that you've worked with already ... it kind of transfers onto the screen, particularly if you're playing a couple with history," Murphy said, alluding to the tenuous relationship between his character and Katherine.

How Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt started their working relationship

Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt are clearly best buds, which made their experience on "Oppenheimer" all the more rewarding. Prior to "A Quiet Place Part II," which was directed by Blunt's husband John Krasinski, the two actors didn't know each other. But Murphy was a huge fan of the first "Quiet Place" and wanted to reach out to Krasinki and Blunt to praise them for their efforts. "After I saw the movie I was so blown away by it I had to write to John Krasinski, because I didn't know him and I hadn't worked with (wife) Emily (Blunt) before," the "Oppenheimer" lead told WENN (via The Independent) in 2020. Murphy began cracking away at an e-mail but decided it was best not to send it forward, thinking that Krasinski didn't need to hear his words of praise. 

It turns out that Krasinski and Blunt were obsessed with Murphy. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Krasinski explained how he and Blunt decided to cast Murphy in "A Quiet Place Part II" because of his headlining act in the ever-popular BBC series "Peaky Blinders." "I've been a fan of Cillian's forever, but I had just finished the ["A Quiet Place Part II"] script probably not even a week before we were delving back into 'Peaky Blinders,'" Krasinski told the outlet. He continued by discussing how he need a complex actor to take on the role of Emmett, failing to realize that Murphy, who they had been watching in "Peaky Blinders" was the perfect choice for the gig. "And I remember Emily being on the couch, like, 'Oh my God, of course! He's literally been right under our nose for the last four months. How have we not thought of this before?'" Krasinski remembered.