Charlie Murphy: On My Culture Radar
The actor on dining in London, Benedict Cumberbatch and why she loves Galway
Current favourite book?
It’s hard to read when you’re preparing a show, but I’m about to read The Actor’s Life by the gorgeous actor Jenna Fischer [The Office US, You Me and the Apocalypse]. It’s supposed to be a bit of a scream, so I’m looking forward to that.
There’s a lovely seafood restaurant called Matthew’s Kitchen near where I live in Crouch End, London, and that’s stunning. It’s a lovely atmosphere but it’s the food I go there for – it’s really gorgeous and fresh. I usually have the lobster there, it’s pretty delish. I’m from a coastal town, so it reminds me of my childhood.
I’ve just worked with Pat Shortt so he’s my choice. He’s such a gorgeous man but also one of those go-to funny people. He has this wide-eyed innocence which I love – it’s really beautiful.
I don’t watch many musicals, but I saw Book of Mormon in London recently and that was brilliant. It’s about Mormons going out into the world and leading the door-to-door life, but it makes fun of every religion, so it’s fair in that sense. It’s very satirical and unholy and lots of fun.
One from Ireland would be Alice Maher. I was in a short film of hers years ago. I wasn’t familiar with her work at the time, but the following year I went to see her exhibition in Dublin, and it was incredibly interesting. She’s quite multimedia: she does a lot of sculpture, plus sketches and projections. And there’s always a sense of humour there, even if the piece is about something serious.
I love Galway, especially for the arts and film festivals. Cork is a very close second. But obviously I do love my hometown of Enniscorthy as well. I’ve just been made an ambassador for Co Wexford, which is pretty incredible. I’m chuffed with that.
I was recently blown away by Benedict Cumberbatch in Patrick Melrose. My jaw was on the floor for the whole thing. His absolute commitment to it is astounding. It’s brilliant to watch a character free-falling while the actor knows what they’re doing. That will lead on to what my favourite TV show is…
Nothing comes close to how brilliant Sky’s Patrick Melrose is as a whole series. It’s five episodes, based on a book, and it follows him over a couple of decades. It covers how it is to come from a dysfunctional family and it deals with addiction as well. It’s so brilliantly shot, narrated and put together.
I love My Dad Wrote a Porno. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever come across – I often have to stop on the street because I laugh so much. It’s with Jamie Morton, whose father writes soft pornographic literature, and he reads a chapter a week with his friends. His two friends comment on what’s unfolding, like Gogglebox, and having them represent what you’re thinking makes it really fun. It’s brilliant for a serotonin release.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is fantastic. That’s done by Martin McDonagh, who’s written The Lieutenant of Inishmore. It was a brilliant story and so well-executed.
I’ve been listening to really random acts: Johnny Cash, Elton John, George Michael, Billy Joel. I don’t know why but I’ve gone back in time over the past couple of weeks, listening to songs like The Boys Are Back in Town [by Thin Lizzy] and Don’t Stop Believin’ [by Journey]. You can’t go wrong with old classic cheese rock.
The Lieutenant of Inishmore plays at the Noël Coward Theatre, London, until September 8th