Cillian Murphy explains why Oppenheimer’s ‘awkward’ sex scenes with Florence Pugh were ‘vital’

Cillian Murphy has defended the inclusion of sex scenes in Christopher Nolan’s new blockbuster. Oppenheimer.

Murphy, 47, stars in the film as nuclear scientist J Robert Oppenheimer. An important subplot involves his relationship with psychiatrist and doctor Jean Tatlock, played by Florence Pugh, 27.

Tatlock and Oppenheimer were in a relationship and later had an affair, while the physicist was married to Katherine “Kitty” Puening (portrayed by Emily Blunt in the film).

*Warning – Minor spoilers to come Oppenheimer*

One of the sex scenes caused an internet uproar and was condemned in India because Oppenheimer read part of the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism’s most sacred scriptures, during intercourse.

Speak with British GQ In a recent interview, Murphy said the sex scenes in the film are “vital.”

“I think the relationship he has with Jean Tatlock is one of the most emotional parts of the film,” said the Irish actor.

“I think if they’re the key to the story, then they’re worth it. Listen, nobody likes doing them, they’re the most awkward part of our job. But sometimes you have to keep going.”

Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock, left, and Cillian Murphy as J Robert Oppenheimer

(© Universal Pictures. All rights reserved.)

In a previous interview with insiderDirector Nolan agreed, “If you look at Oppenheimer’s life and his story, that aspect of his life, that aspect of his sexuality, his approach to women, the charm that he exuded, that’s an essential part of his story.”

“It felt very important to understand their relationship and really look inside them and understand what moves them without being shy or making innuendos – but trying to be intimate, trying to be with him and fully understanding the relationship.” was so important to him.”

It was revealed this week that Pugh’s nudity has been censored in certain areas including the Middle East, India and Indonesia.

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Viewers realized the scene had been edited after a photo of the actor wearing a CGI dress in the film was shared on X (formerly known as Twitter).

A source close to the film reported The Independent that a “soft-base” version of the film with no nudity was used in the Middle East, while censored edits were made to ensure releases in countries such as India.

Oppenheimer was released as a U/A certified film by India’s Central Board of Film Certification, which means the film contains moderate adult themes and can be viewed by a child under 12 with parental guidance.

In other countries, Christopher Nolan’s film was released in the R-rating category, meaning viewers under the age of 17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Find The Independent‘s review of Oppenheimer Here.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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