Cillian Murphy was "desperate" to anchor a Christopher Nolan film

Everyone loves to talk about famous actor-director pairings, but what about the ones that are equally as memorable but not nearly as celebrated? For about as long as Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have been working together, so have Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. People go gaga for Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, but why do Clint Howard and his brother Ron fly under the radar? 

Okay, the last one was a rib, but you get the point. Another actor/director duo that has remained hidden in plain sight is the pairing between Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy. For close to two decades, Murphy and Nolan have been producing magic in their respective roles. And with the upcoming Oppenheimer, Murphy has finally stepped into the leading role of a Nolan movie. According to Variety, Murphy had openly expressed his "desperation" to anchor a film directed by his friend, frequent collaborator, and box office titan, Christopher Nolan. 

Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy's working relationship spans nearly 20 years and counting as the filmmaker has directed the "Peaky Blinders" favorite in six movies: Three Batman films, "Inception," "Dunkirk" and "Oppenheimer." Notably, however, the upcoming atomic bomb drama marks Murphy's first time headlining a Nolan picture in the lead role. Murphy stars as theoretical physicist and "father of the atomic bomb" J. Robert Oppenheimer. In a recent interview with the Associated Press, the actor admitted he "was desperate" to lead a Nolan movie.

"I have always said publicly and privately, to Chris, that if I'm available and you want me to be in a movie, I'm there. I don't really care about the size of the part," Murphy said. "But deep down, secretly, I was desperate to play a lead for him."