Cillian Murphy would like us all to know that’s just his face. Okay!

His face remains unimpressed on the red carpet, in press interviews and meeting members of the British royal family

Cillian Murphy is known for a few things. Acting, winning awards for acting, giving Cork people another reason to be insufferable and internet memes of his stony countenance.

His face remains unimpressed on the red carpet, in press interviews and meeting members of the British royal family. The last one might not have been intentional but it won him the hearts and minds of some of his countrymen who might, after some drink has been taken, burst into a rendition of Grace with a tie around their heads at family functions.

But Cillian Murphy would like us to know that’s just his face okay?

He told the Financial Times in an interview published over the weekend: “Everyone knows that I’m the most f***ing memed awkward person on the internet ...”


“Can’t I just be normal?” he says. “It is nuts, you know?”

It’s not Cillian Murphy’s fault he has the facial expression of us all as teenagers waiting for our mothers to come out of the Dunnes lingerie department changing room. Wishing we were anywhere else in the world before our friends catch us standing in an aisle of large, skin-coloured bras.

But his look of perma-cringe translates into sexy insouciance in the fashion world. He’s one of those rare talents that gives the most by doing very little. Footage from his Versace Icons collection shoot proves it. A stony stare down the camera, a glare off to the side there and he’s finished a powerful menswear campaign before designer Donatella has even had time to find a car parking space outside the studio.

Despite constantly looking like he’s listening to his least favourite colleague drone on at a work meeting when doing press activities, he doesn’t mind modelling for the camera.

“I actually like taking pictures. I love trying to find the mood with the photographer and the stylist. When it’s a collaborative thing,” he told Jo Ellison for the FT.

Murphy’s mug fronting the Italian designer’s splashy campaign is just one of the latest signs fashion brands have finally copped that we don’t want very hot, very tall models with ideal fit proportions showing us clothes. We want people like us. People like the five-foot-something Murphy – those cheekbones notwithstanding – who have to get the legs taken up on his trousers without making them look like they’re wearing their older brother’s hand-me-downs.

Last month, Miuccia Prada sent one of her most loyal customers down the Miu Miu catwalk instead of a professional model. Dr Qin Huilan, a 70-year-old medical practitioner from Shanghai “ate up” the runway in Paris, as her newfound Gen Z followers would say, confidently striding down in a grey coat that matched her hair. She is calm, she is confident and she is a woman who can’t be fooled when it comes to parting with her money over flash-in-the-pan designs.

She told W Magazine she often raids her son’s cupboards because “his men’s jackets seem to fit me perfectly. And that way, I save money”.

This is who we want to be influencing our purchases, a woman who found her sense of style after she retired from wearing “a white coat everyday” and is looking for a good, warm jacket on the cheap.

It’s why Roy Keane, the thinking person’s hardman was called in to sell grumpy, middle-aged fashion to grumpy, middle-aged dads as their poster boy.

So it’s not surprising Murphy also revealed in the same interview that Keane “is actually one of my favourite people”.

“He’s got that thing, that Cork sense ... straight to the heart of the issue. He’s a legend. Everything he stands for, I love.”

Like not flapping about like a smiley eejit when you don’t feel like it.