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Cillian Murphy | Source: Getty Images
Cillian Murphy | Source: Getty Images

Here's Why Oscar-Winning Cillian Murphy's Pics with Gray Hair & Beard Are Exploding Online: 'That's Him?'

Taitirwa Sehliselwe Murape
Jul 09, 2024
11:36 A.M.

Cillian Murphy's unrecognizable appearance is causing a commotion online. Some people second-guessed whether it really is the famous actor, who has an upcoming project up his sleeve, in a newly released photo.

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Oscar-winning actor Cillian Murphy, 48, was spotted with a new look last week (the week of July 1), which had fans doing a double take. Strolling along a quiet street in Bath, Somerset, the silver screen icon appeared aged, donning gray hair and a beard.

User comment about Cillian Murphy, posted on July 9, 2024 | Source: X/oddwreckinRid

User comment about Cillian Murphy, posted on July 9, 2024 | Source: X/oddwreckinRid

Sources confirm that the critically acclaimed star's look has to do with his role in the Netflix adaption of the 2023 novella "Shy," written by author Max Porter, which he was busy filming.

Completing his different look with a black raincoat that was lined inside with cozy-looking red cotton material, the actor was said to have filmed his last scenes of the movie.

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Cillian aka headteacher Tommy Shelby from BBC's crime drama "Peaky Blinders" is also developing the upcoming movie through his own production company, Big Things Films. Reportedly, this project is set to launch Big Things Films, which is in collaboration with Alan Mooney.

Cillian Murphy at the 96th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California on March 10, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy at the 96th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California on March 10, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Having begun initial filming and production on May 24, Cillian wrapped up the last scenes in Bath on July 5, but the recent pictures of him left fans baffled.

Cillian Murphy spotted arriving at "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in Los Angeles, California on February 22, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy spotted arriving at "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in Los Angeles, California on February 22, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

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"That's him?" questioned a social media user who struggled to recognize the star's identity in the image.

Echoing the shock, another observer on X exclaimed, "THIS IS WHAT I OPEN TWITTER TO??? WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE." In all caps, someone else simply wrote, "THE GREY HAIR."

Cillian Murphy spotted attending the US-Ireland Alliance's 2024 Oscar Wilde Awards in Los Angeles, California on March 7, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy spotted attending the US-Ireland Alliance's 2024 Oscar Wilde Awards in Los Angeles, California on March 7, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Others were not taken aback by Cillian's remarkably different appearance at all and instead asserted how they felt about what he looked like. "Cillian Murphy with a beard again…" penned a social media user.

Cillian Murphy spotted at BBC Radio 2 in London, England on July 13, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy spotted at BBC Radio 2 in London, England on July 13, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

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Another person stated, "No beard please!" A fan who seemed to be impressed by Cillian's look said, "[Save] me Cillian Murphy with a beard… save me…"

On the other hand, another netizen commented on the fact that Cillian has played many roles that require him to harness grit and navigate his way through troubled waters. On this note, she pondered, "Will Cillian Murphy ever play a man that is actually happy and thriving?"

Cillian Murphy at the 96th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California on March 10, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy at the 96th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California on March 10, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

By the looks of it, Cillian isn't set to play any happy-go-lucky characters just yet. Aside from his next starring role as an older headmaster in "Steve" (the movie he was recently seen filming), the actor's historical drama, "Small Things Like These," which he produced and stars in, debuted at the opening-night gala of the Berlin Film Festival on February 15.

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Cillian Murphy at the premiere of "Small Things Like These" during the 74th Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany on February 15, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy at the premiere of "Small Things Like These" during the 74th Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany on February 15, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Even prior to his recent and pending projects, Cillian has played characters who deal with dark endeavors before, like in "Peaky Blinders."

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His character, Shelby, oversees a school for boys with behavioral and societal problems. Additionally, like his recent change of appearance for "Steve," Cillian had to transform himself into Shelby for the crime drama show.

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The talented actor, known for his striking blue eyes and "androgynous features," previously spoke about having to shave the hair on the sides of his head and leave it longer at the top for the role of Shelby. "I was alarmed by the haircut, I have to admit, but I'm contractually obliged to have it," Cillian Murphy shared in a past interview.

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While he may have felt a certain type of way about the haircut, he certainly did not let it show in his acting. In addition to "Peaky Blinders," Cillian gave a stellar and Award-winning performance in "Oppenheimer," which further solidified his reputation as a versatile and accomplished actor. However, more than just an A-list performer, Cillian is a loving family man.

Cillian Murphy at the AFI Awards held at the Los Angeles Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 12, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy at the AFI Awards held at the Los Angeles Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 12, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Work aside, Cillian is married to an artist, Yvonne McGuinness. The couple, who met in Dublin, Ireland in their 20s, got married in 2004 and have two kids, Aran and Malachy Murphy. Until 2015, Cillian's family resided in Kilburn, situated in north-west London, where the actor and his wife relocated after their initial meeting.

Yvonne McGuinness and Cillian Murphy at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on January 7, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Yvonne McGuinness and Cillian Murphy at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on January 7, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

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Cillian attributed the move back to Ireland to various factors. One of the reasons was that his 40th birthday was approaching. Reflecting on his time in London during his 20s and 30s, Cillian pondered whether there was more to life than what the city offered. This prompted a desire for exploration and new possibilities.

Cillian Murphy attends the BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall in London, England on May 14, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy attends the BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall in London, England on May 14, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

The movie star and Yvonne also wanted to have their sons grow up closer to their grandparents and experience life by the sea. "We wanted them to be Irish, I suppose. It's amazing how quickly their accents have adapted. Even within a year of moving back, they are fading into this rakish west Brit kind of thing," said Cillian.

Yvonne McGuinness and Cillian Murphy at the 96th Annual Oscars in Los Angeles, California on March 10, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Yvonne McGuinness and Cillian Murphy at the 96th Annual Oscars in Los Angeles, California on March 10, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

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He also joked that he hoped this accent would get his sons lots of girls by the time they're 15. So, after 14 years in London, Cillian and Yvonne McGuinness moved back to their native land.

The actor, who said it's the best decision he and his wife made, revealed that they convinced the boys to accept the relocation with a promise of the Labrador they now own.

Cillian Murphy at Deadline Contenders Film: Los Angeles held at the Director's Guild of America in Los Angeles, California on November 18, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy at Deadline Contenders Film: Los Angeles held at the Director's Guild of America in Los Angeles, California on November 18, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian has observed in his sons a level of confidence and self-assurance that he did not possess at their age. The actor noted that his sons are "More sure of themselves. I'm happy about that. For me, it was something that took a long time to figure out: that it's all right to be you, that it's all right to be an individual."

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Cillian Murphy attends the "Oppenheimer" UK Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London, England on July 13, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy attends the "Oppenheimer" UK Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London, England on July 13, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

The "Inception" star also called his sons "really good boys," who he shares laughter with. He admitted that he and his sons do not have "Dad's Movie Nights," despite how much Malachy and Aran love some of his movies. "They say all my films are really intense," he revealed.

Cillian Murphy poses upon his arrival for the premiere of the movie "Oppenheimer" at the Grand Rex cinema in Paris, France on July 11, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy poses upon his arrival for the premiere of the movie "Oppenheimer" at the Grand Rex cinema in Paris, France on July 11, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

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Cillian, who is the spokesperson for a scheme pioneered by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, has pushed for empathy to be taught in school because he raises sons.

Cillian Murphy attends the London Photocall for Universal Pictures' "Oppenheimer" at Trafalgar Square in London, England, on July 12, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy attends the London Photocall for Universal Pictures' "Oppenheimer" at Trafalgar Square in London, England, on July 12, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

On the matter, he explained, "Raising boys, it seems very practical and sensible that you would promote empathy. It's about listening, and the best acting is about listening, too. If you're listening to someone, you can respond emotionally to them."

Cillian Murphy attends the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California on January 14, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy attends the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California on January 14, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

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Cillian also commented that social media is devoid of empathy, quoting writer George Saunders, who highlighted its gladiatorial nature. Despite recognizing its negative aspects, the actor acknowledged the unavoidable presence of social media in daily life.

Cillian Murphy, winner of the Best Actor in a Leading Role award for “Oppenheimer”, poses in the press room during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Ovation in Hollywood, California on March 10, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy, winner of the Best Actor in a Leading Role award for “Oppenheimer”, poses in the press room during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Ovation in Hollywood, California on March 10, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

The doting father, who always strives to be there for his family, thanked them at the 2024 Palm Springs International Film Awards, for "putting up" with him.

"Cause I don't ever really get to do this too often, I want to say thanks to my family. Just thanks for putting up with me, putting up with kind of the half me and the shadow me and the absent me and the remains of me when I'm doing a film like this or work in general. You're always there and I love you for it," said Cillian

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Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuinness share a moment as he accepts the Lead Actor award for "Oppenheimer" onstage during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 10, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuinness share a moment as he accepts the Lead Actor award for "Oppenheimer" onstage during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 10, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Cillian's son Aran is following in his dad's footsteps. In 2019, Aran played Shakespeare's son, Hamnet, the title role in the Irish theater company Dead Centre's "Hamnet." At just 11 years old, Aran commanded the stage for the majority of the hour-long performance at BAM Fisher, marking his debut in a professional role.

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Aran Murphy's participation, alongside the show's creators, reflected a bold and daring approach, with risk serving as a central theme of the production. Cillian's son was said to blossom on stage.

The actor commented on his son's performance, "He was so chilled about it, you know? He would come off stage and ask what the score was in the Liverpool game." Cillian expressed a hint of envy at this simplicity, cautioning against the potential erosion of such ease by overanalyzing every aspect of life.

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Cillian's deep love for his family is evident in his words and actions. The actor is grateful to them for their love and understanding when he is away for long periods filming projects. Yvonne and the boys also adore Cillian as they show up for him and celebrate with him during events such as the Academy Awards.

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