Cillian Murphy's crystal blue eyes, high cheekbones and warm Irish brogue are well enough to beguile even the casual fan. And though of late he's been known more for playing the baddie in the likes of "Inception" and "In Time," his latest turn, in Rodrigo Cortes' film "Red Lights," finds him back in good graces. He plays Tom Buckley, a scientist and paranormal investigator who goes toe to toe with a renowned psychic (played by, ahem, Robert DeNiro) who Buckley suspects is a fraud.
Murphy's character, though out to disprove those who claim to be clairvoyant, has a fascination with magic and sleight of hand. That left Murphy with the task of mastering a few slick tricks like the old pull-the-quarter-out-of-your-ear that your grandpa used to do.
"I just went and learned it and you know, you can learn anything off YouTube these days," Murphy says. "To get that fast, [it took] maybe two months. If you have nothing else to do in your life except to make a coin roll over your fingers, you'll do it."
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Since Murphy has starred in his fair share of mind-benders, does the actor perhaps have a fascination with science fiction?
"Personally, I would be in the skeptic camp -- which is not to say that I'm a cynic, but just that I have yet to see something that I believe is beyond our comprehension," he says regarding the paranormal. "I'm open and I'm curious, because you have to be if you're an actor. In my own life, I don't go to mediums or read horoscopes. I'm just kind of boringly rational, I'm afraid."
With the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman series to be released next week, Murphy keeps mum about whether his character from the first film, the Scarecrow, will make a cameo in "The Dark Knight Rises," but he does have high praise for the filmmaker.
"It's very rare that you come across someone that talented," Murphy says. "I feel blessed to have worked with him."