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What Is The 'Disappointed Cillian Murphy' Meme And Where Does It Come From?

Cillian Murphy answering an interview question about the Disappointed Cillian Murphy meme by asking what a meme is.
Cillian Murphy answering an interview question about the Disappointed Cillian Murphy meme by asking what a meme is.
By Aidan Walker

20274 views
Published 10 months ago

Published 10 months ago

His face is now on billboards around the world, playing Oppenheimer the inventor of the nuclear bomb. But before Irish actor Cillian Murphy played the most-memed weapon-maker of all time, he served a series of looks in press interviews that led people around the internet to appreciate his attitude and overall vibe.

Where Did 'Disappointed Cillian Murphy' Come From?

The first posting about Cillian Murphy appearing disappointed happened on Tumblr in July of 2017, when a fan of the actor put together a compilation of stills from various press interviews. The post was accompanied by the caption: "Cillian Murphy always looks like someone somewhere is disappointing him."

From there, many people on Tumblr, YouTube and elsewhere noticed the same pattern: Murphy tends to hold his face extremely still and gaze off into space, seemingly bored and in a bad mood during press junkets. In October 2017, Murphy was asked about the Disappointed Cillian Murphy meme during an interview and appeared self-conscious and confused, and wanted to know what a meme was. The actor reportedly does not use social media.

Is Cillian Murphy Actually Disappointed?

The actor has said he doesn't really enjoy certain aspects of being a celebrity, and is more fascinated by the craft of acting. He has a reputation as a somewhat difficult interview, seeking to keep his private life to himself and not answering questions at very much length. He has also said in the past that "the reductive nature nowadays of most journalism is very frustrating," which might mean he is in fact disappointed by the journalists talking to him.

Why Do People Post 'Disappointed Cillian Murphy'?

This meme is pretty clearly a fandom meme, posted and reposted by people who enjoy Murphy and his personality. But it's also a highly relatable meme: many empathize with the actor having to sit through a part of his job that he really doesn't like, because they have to do the exact same thing. A lot of Disappointed Cillian Murphy memes use the actor to represent the poster's own emotions about doing something they don't like, or being disappointed themselves.

https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7137351886901906730

It's likely that more memes about Murphy will surface as the release date of the long-awaited film Oppenheimer approaches. It's also likely that Murphy will show a disappointed facial expression in this film, because history suggests that J. Robert Oppenheimer was, in fact, disappointed by the nuclear arms race and the readiness of the world's governments to wage war with the deadly bomb he helped invent.


For the full history of Disappointed Cillian Murphy, be sure to check out our entry on the meme in Know Your Meme's encyclopedia for even more information.

Tags: cillian murphy, disappointed, oppenheimer, peaky blinders, interview, junket, actor,