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What to Know About Cillian Murphy's Irish Accent, How to Properly Pronounce His Name

Does Cillian Murphy have an accent? How do you say his name? Let's take a closer look at the Oppenheimer star.

By Josh Weiss & Matthew Jackson

When he took the stage at the 96th Academy Awards on March 10 to collect his Oscar for Best Actor, Cillian Murphy proclaimed himself a "very proud Irishman" to cheers from the theater around him. For Murphy, it was a simple statement of his heritage and his own satisfaction at having won his industry's top honor for his performance in Oppenheimer.

But for some watching at home, it might have been the first time they'd ever heard Murphy speak in his natural accent.

RELATED: Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer Wins 7 Oscars, Including Best Picture

Cillian Murphy's Irish Accent, and Transforming His Voice

Born in Cork, Ireland, Murphy is indeed as Irish as they come, right down to his first name, which is pronounced Kill-ee-an. His accent is, of course, a dead giveaway when it comes to his heritage, but the actor spends so much time doing other accents, including the very specific American voice needed to portray J. Robert Oppenheimer, that some fans might not have noticed until now that Irish is his natural speaking inflection.

And according to Murphy, changing that inflection is about more than just deciding to imitate another accent. Speaking to Barbie star Margot Robbie for Variety's Actors on Actors series last year, Murphy explained that changing his voice is actually quite difficult for him. 

"With accents, for me, it takes...it's like going to the gym for your mouth," he said. "It takes a long time.

That's especially impressive given Murphy's resume, which includes all manner of accents spread out across time periods, regions, and walks of life. He can slip into a lot of different voices with quite a lot of skill, which means that he's really putting the time in to convince us that he's not an Irishman. No wonder he's now going home with an Academy Award.

Cillian Murphy attends the 96th Oscars Nominees Luncheon

How to Watch Oppenheimer Right Now

Based on American Prometheus, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin, Oppenheimer is now streaming exclusively on Peacock alongside a slew of behind-the-scenes featurettes.

The NBCUniversal platform currently offers two monthly subscription plans: Premium ($5.99 a month with ads) and Premium Plus ($11.99 a month with no ads and download access for certain titles). If you're a student, you can enjoy the Premium plan for just $1.99 for an entire year!

Not a Peacock subscriber just yet? The film is also available to purchase from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment!