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Emer McLysaght: Dryrobes and Francis Brennan pyjamas – here’s Cillian Murphy’s actual bedtime routine

The New Yorker thinks it knows the Cork actor but, having met him twice – though we didn’t speak – I am best placed to speculate on his sleep preparations

Cillian Murphy: It seems imperative that we set the record straight on what our beloved Oscar-winning Corkman gets up to of an evening. Photograph: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

“Make gentle but furious love to the ghost of Molly Malone.” “Throw open the shutters and shout, ‘I am the father of the atomic bomb!’ But in Gaelic.” These were just some of the suggestions in a lighthearted New Yorker article about Cillian Murphy’s imagined bedtime routine, which quickly drew the ire of every self-respecting gin-drinking, panpipe-playing, Lucky Charm-eating Irish person who laid eyes upon it – gin, panpipes and Lucky Charms being among the cornerstones of our culture, naturally.

It seems imperative that we set the record straight on what our beloved Oscar-winning Corkman gets up to of an evening, no? (I am best placed to speculate on Cillian Murphy as I have met him twice. Once when we serendipitously walked alongside each other during a march through the Dublin streets in support of the Repeal campaign. Okay, so we didn’t speak, but I did accidentally stand on his dog’s paw and he conveyed patience and forgiveness with a piercing blue stare which also conveyed a slightly panicked “please don’t recognise that I’m Cillian Murphy and force me to speak to you”. The dog was fine, by the way. The second time I “met” him was at a literary festival in Carlow. He was wearing a giant scarf/poncho. It was the kind of garment only Cillian Murphy could get away with in Ireland. My friend stood in front of him in the queue for the portaloo. Imagine the pressure, knowing Cillian Murphy was coming in after you. We didn’t speak on this occasion, but I imagine he spotted me and remembered me from our activism days.


Gets the Dart home to Monkstown, safe in the knowledge that nobody will either ask for or take a sneaky photo. Everyone knows the unwritten rule that you don’t annoy Cillian on the Dart. Listens to The Frank and Walters and The Sultans of Ping to remind himself he’s from the People’s Republic, as if anyone from Cork would ever let him or anyone else forget.


Checks the tide and decides to slip down to Seapoint for an evening dip. Says the customary “it’s grand once you’re in” to two or three other swimmers pretending not to know who he is. Gets mercilessly slagged by three men in their 70s for wearing a Dryrobe. Goes home invigorated and humbled in equal measures.


Dozes on the sofa after a feed of Tayto, Tanora and a slice of his mother’s famous cake. Wakes with a jolt after a brief nightmare where photographers cry out “Silly-an, over here!” in an effort to get the best red carpet snap. Opens his phone to find Matt Damon has sent a meme about the Barbie/Oppenheimer cinema phenomenon. “It’s been months, Matt, find a new joke, like,” he thinks fondly, although he is thankful that it’s not just another “how do you like these apples” gag.


Prepares for bed after being gently ribbed by sons about Cork Airport’s April Fool’s announcement that it is rebranding to the “Cork Cillian Murphy International Airport”. Obviously it should be named after Roy Keane.


Slips into a pair of Francis Brennan pyjamas and then between his Francis Brennan sheets – Francis himself sent a hamper after the Oscars win – and fires up the Kindle to read the latest Claire Keegan. Prophet Song and Roz Purcell’s Hike Life are in his to-be-read pile on the bedside locker.


Gets back out of bed to apply some Sculpted by Aimee eye cream. He had the whole lot of them on the Oppenheimer set on to it. Christopher Nolan is now an absolute divil for the Tint and Glow and is considering directing a biopic about the enterprising make-up maven. Margot Robbie is practising her Irish accent.

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Snuggles down to try to drift off, but keeps having flashbacks to press junket incidents where beleaguered entertainment journalists had to try to get him to say something about Barry Keoghan that might go viral, when all he wanted to do was get home on time to watch The Traitors. Picks up his phone to doomscroll for a few minutes. Drops phone on his face and brains himself.


Puts on Cillian Murphy’s Sleep Story on the Calm app to lull himself to sleep with his own dulcet tones. “Ah Cillian, not again,” mutters his wife but he’s already drifting off. Big day tomorrow. A Zoom with Scorsese and free easy peelers on the Lidl app. Mustn’t forget the bag for life!