Alex Mur­phy

The Young Of­fend­ers star on the in­flu­ence of Cil­lian Mur­phy, the com­edy of Theo Von, and Shia LaBeouf’s biopic

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - TICKET - SHILPA GANA­TRA


KCs in Cork, which you could call a high-end chip shop. It does the best take­away in all of Ire­land. They serve pit­tas, burg­ers, chicken and chips with an ar­ray of dif­fer­ent dips and top­pings, and it’s all tasty. The queue is al­ways out the door – it’s the hall­mark of a good restau­rant that peo­ple are will­ing to wait.


I went to see Theo Von last night. I’d been watch­ing his stuff on­line for a while, and just be­fore Christ­mas, I thought I’d check to see if he ever plays Ire­land. It turned out he was com­ing to Cork a few weeks later. I felt proud watch­ing him, as if I put him there. I don’t nor­mally like Amer­i­can com­edy but I ad­mire the way he crafts sto­ries, and he has a great mul­let.


There hasn’t been a pro­duc­tion of it since it was on Broad­way, but I want to see Newsies, about New York pa­per­boys. When I was about 15, we put on a va­ri­ety show and per­formed part of it, and I’ve been want­ing to see it since. I’m not a par­tic­u­larly ex­tro­verted guy and a lot of mu­si­cals are big, but this brought some­thing new to the form. It was the first mu­si­cal that felt like a play to me. It had a bit of ev­ery­thing: tap, bal­let, singing about news­pa­pers . . .


For Christ­mas, my un­cle got me two huge Sal­vador Dalí books. I’m sure you can look up Dalí paint­ings on your phone, but see­ing a hard copy of his paint­ings makes me ap­pre­ci­ate the de­tail of his work. It’s un­like any­thing I’ve seen be­fore.


I went to New York with Chris Wal­ley, my co-star on The Young Of­fend­ers, for 10 days be­fore Christ­mas. It wasn’t work – it was just two best friends hang­ing out. No mat­ter how much peo­ple hype up New York and tell you how great it is, you can’t grasp it un­til you’re there your­self. We went to a lot of dive bars, and a few rooftop bars. Mostly we walked around and peo­ple-watched; I love the way any­thing goes in New York. I can imag­ine my­self liv­ing there at some point in my life.


Grow­ing up in Cork, Cil­lian Mur­phy was a huge in­flu­ence. I wouldn’t have thought that be­ing an ac­tor was at­tain­able, but when I saw that Cil­lian down the road was do­ing very well for him­self, it made me think that I could be an ac­tor too. I ad­mire the work he’s done – he’s fol­lowed the good work and not just the pay cheques.


There’s a new pod­cast called I’m Grand Mam, made by two Cork lads liv­ing in Lon­don. I knew one of them, Kevin Twomey, grow­ing up. It’s two friends talk­ing about what­ever comes up; they’re openly gay so they talk about that, and what it’s like to live in Lon­don. They don’t take them­selves too se­ri­ously.

TV show

I watched Game of Thrones un­til it fin­ished, and since then I’ve watched Peaky Blin­ders and Liv­ing with Your­self, which didn’t take me long to get through. There’s a lot of great shows from Ire­land too, like Derry Girls.


I saw Shia LaBeouf in Honey Boy. It’s a biopic in which he plays his fa­ther, and younger ac­tors play Shia as a child. It’s about his life grow­ing up as a child star and his dif­fi­cult re­la­tion­ship with his fa­ther. Con­sid­er­ing that, he’s pulled him­self to­gether . . . I say, as if I know him. The movie could have been self-in­dul­gent, but it turned out not to be. And in a world of re­boots and fran­chises, I ap­pre­ci­ate some­thing dif­fer­ent and fresh.

Alex Mur­phy ap­pears in The Lieu­tenant of Inish­more, at the Gai­ety Theatre, Dublin, from Mon­day 27th Jan­uary. See gai­etythe­ for more de­tails

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