Soundtrack Of My Life: Cillian Murphy

Film and TV megastar, plays Nick Drake late at night

This interview was first published in a 2016 issue of NME magazine

The artist that reminds me of starting out as an actor

Nick Drake

“I was listening to a lot of Nick Drake when I started off because that’s just what you do, isn’t it, in your early twenties? You listen to a lot of Nick Drake. I think it’s very much a young man’s kind of music. It’s a peculiar take on the world and quite a lonely take on the world, but it’s also every young man going and trying to find an identity. Nick Drake is a good medium to go through. I’ll still put him on sometimes quite late at night.”


The song I do at karaoke

The Kinks – ‘You Really Got Me’

“I don’t do karaoke. You know how some people don’t like massages? I don’t like karaoke. I had to sing ‘You Really Got Me’ by The Kinks in [2001 film] Disco Pigs. It was in a karaoke bar – that was the character. That’s a part of the role, but I enjoy it. I enjoy any chance to get in front of a microphone in a role. I’ll do it.”

The first album I ever bought

Europe – ‘The Final Countdown’

“‘The Final Countdown’ was just the song that was on the telly and radio all the time. It’s a pretty catchy song, a pretty amazing riff. Ten years ago I would’ve been way too embarrassed to admit that. Now, I’m confident in my music taste.”


The first music I remember hearing

Irish traditional music

“There was a lot of that played when I was a kid. I would’ve gone to a lot of trad. sessions as a child. I was probably in the corner asleep with a packet of crisps and a Club Orange. I kind of rejected all that, but now I love it. My dad’s old trad. records were all on vinyl. I began to listen to them and they’re beautiful.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Christine And The Queens – ‘Tilted’

“I really like that and it’s very danceable. It’s just got a great groove and Christine’s an amazing performer. I love great dancing and Christine’s a really great dancer. I defy anyone not to want to dance when they listen to that track.”

The song I wish I’d written

Radiohead – ‘No Surprises’

“I’ve written my own music and I play guitar. But it would probably be a Radiohead song – ‘No Surprises’, maybe. I think they’re the biggest band, who became the biggest band in the world without wanting to be the biggest band in the world. They’re probably my favourite band.”

The first song I fell in love with

The Beatles – ‘Love Me Do’

“They were playing around the house and I think maybe my dad had ‘The Beatles: 20 Greatest Hits’ on record. It was probably ‘Love Me Do’ or something. That was the first track on the first side. That’s rock ’n’ roll. I remember that harmonica solo very well.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Massive Attack – ‘Hymn Of The Big Wheel’

“That’s a pretty beautiful song and I like the sentiment of it. It’s kind of a hopeful song – y’know, the big wheel keeps turning.”

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