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Cillian Murphy Gets Especially Creepy in ‘Red Lights’

Published: Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Updated: Thursday, August 9, 2012 14:08

Even with his film credits Cillian Murphy couldn’t help but feel honored and excited to work with his “Red Lights” co-stars Sigourney Weaver and Robert De Niro.

“It is really hard to talk about these guys without resorting to cliché,” Murphy said. “I was in awe.”

The Irish actor’s latest role made him realize how far his career has come since his mainstream breakthrough in the 2002 zombie thriller “28 Days Later.”

“This is not exactly like doing theater in Cork anymore,” he said.

Though Murphy raved about working with the cast of “Red Lights,” that wasn’t what initially sparked his interest in the film.

It was the script that made him decide he wanted to play Tom Buckley. He said that he reads a lot of scripts, but that this one was different.

“With most scripts these days, you can kind of expect how it is going to go,” Murphy said. “But I didn’t know what to expect with this one, it was something original.”

Murphy plays Tom Buckley, a paranormal investigator who works to prove self-proclaimed psychics and magicians are frauds. Buckley works alongside Dr. Margaret Matheson, played by Weaver, to investigate a legendary psychic and healer named Simon Silver, played by De Niro. Buckley becomes obsessed with Silver and proceeds to investigate him night and day until he can find a “red light,” or something that proves he is a fake.

Despite the movie and his character specifically being largely about the paranormal and spirits, Murphy does not believe in such things.

Instead, he approached Tom Buckley like he says he likes to do with all of his characters he plays – by doing research.

“You do your research, you do your due diligence and you try to be fruitful,” Murphy said.

Murphy is most known for his work playing characters that are creepy and somewhat disturbed; this role is no different.

As Buckley, Murphy is given the chance to show his full repertoire as an actor. At the beginning of the film he seems like a friendly, normal assistant to Dr. Matheson, but he becomes progressively darker and more fascinating.

His character represents what the entire movie is all about.

“It’s a story about self-acceptance and obsession,” Murphy said.

“Red Lights” was directed and written by filmmaker Rodrigo Cortes who is known for making horror and thriller movies that are meant to stir up conversation.

His most notable film was “Buried,” a disturbing, suspenseful thriller featuring Ryan Reynolds buried alive with nothing more than a cell phone, a flask of alcohol and a Zippo lighter.

The film was critically acclaimed and got great reviews, including a 10 out of 10 rating from IGN and 86 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It was the type of movie that you could not help but talk to someone about because it stirred up emotions.

Murphy feels that “Red Lights”can be the same way.

“It is a psychological thriller,” Murphy said. “It makes you think a little.”

The reception for “Red Lights” has not been quite as good as that of “Buried.”

“I think people had some strong opinions about it on both sides,” Murphy said.

He described that whether you liked it or not, it seemed to always spark conversation.

Rotten Tomatoes currently has “Red Lights,” which was featured at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, at a 50 percent rating.

“Red Lights”has already been released in Spain, Ireland and the UK, and will open in the US on July 13 in select theaters.

The next movie featuring Cillian Murphy will be a film called “Broken.” It is a psychological drama about a group of dysfunctional families that live next to each other in a London cul-de-sac. He is also expected to return in an upcoming Batman movie as the Scarecrow.

Both release dates are not yet confirmed.

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