I was just to­tally ob­sessed with mu­sic. It never occurred to me that act­ing could be the out­let for per­for­mance”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film -

and hav­ing done well at his Leav­ing Cert, Mur­phy still did the de­cent thing and signed on at UCC. He now ad­mits that – be­ware, younger, smarter read­ers – he re­ally only stud­ied law be­cause he had the points. Af­ter a re­laxed year, he re­moved him­self from the uni­ver­sity and em­barked on the creative life.

“I didn’t ap­ply my­self very well. We laugh about this now at home, but it was a tense time in the Mur­phy house­hold. And I am the old­est, so it was more se­ri­ous. I wasn’t fol­low­ing any fam­ily his­tory. It wasn’t like I was walk­ing into the fam­ily law firm. If I was go­ing to uni­ver­sity, I ob­vi­ously should have done arts. I re­ally dis­agree with the points sys­tem.”

When he was just 20, he se­cured one of the two roles in Enda Walsh’s sem­i­nal Disco Pigs. Pro­duced by Cor­cadorca, fea­tur­ing de­li­ciously tricky lan­guage, the pro­duc­tion fol­lowed two life­long friends as their re­la­tion­ship be­gins to turn dan­ger­ously sep­tic. To that point, Ir­ish the­atre had been some­what back­ward in deal­ing with con­tem­po­rary youth cul­ture. The play, thus, seemed like a lunge into un­der-ex­plored ter­ri­tory. A Euro­pean tour and, ul­ti­mately, Kirsten Sheri­dan’s film ver­sion fol­lowed.

“We trav­elled ev­ery­where. I ac­tu­ally got to live the rock’n’roll life­style, but, rather than be­ing in a band, I was in a play. Af­ter all, I was just 20 when I got the part. Then there was a year be­ing un­em­ployed in Cork. To be hon­est, I loved it. All I needed was money for pints. I could live off bread and cheese.”

You wouldn’t say that there were any mas­sive breaks in Mur­phy’s ca­reer. He did a play here. He did a film there. Then, be­fore

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