CILLIAN_whiteIrish actor Cillian Murphy was cast as Capa, the Icarus II’s Physicist and the only crewmember who really knows how to operate the incredibly sophisticated bomb the ship is carrying.  “Unlike the other members of the crew Capa doesn’t have a military background, isn’t an engineer or a career astronaut,” explains Murphy. “He’s a scientist who is into a level of physics that is way beyond normal comprehension and that does something to his mind in a way. I don’t think his people skills are as good as they could be which makes him more of an outsider and slightly removed from the rest of the crew.”

For Murphy, Garland’s screenplay was key. “The script was riveting from start to finish,” he explains. “I thought it was intelligent and well-written. Alex’s writing fills a script with loads of sub-layers about modern day issues and he has managed to make it within the guise of a very clever, very intelligent, genre piece.” Murphy was also keen to reunite with Boyle and the team behind his breakthrough performance in 28 DAYS LATER. “Danny’s just one of the best directors working today,” he says. “When you work with Danny you become energized. He has this amazing level of energy and commitment that he brings to the film. It was great to come back to that after doing other films, and hopefully to bring a bit more maturity and experience to the project.”

“We were looking for a lead actor on whom the audience could project their hopes and fears throughout the film, and Cillian has that rare quality,” notes Boyle. “It’s partly experience and partly confidence, but he’s also got that special ingredient which a film like SUNSHINE is very difficult to do without. He has fuel in his tank from working with good directors and good people. For those who think he’s a bit good-looking for a physicist, the uncanny thing is that he looks remarkably like our science consultant Brian Cox which was not intentional.”