He flies under the radar screen for the most part, and that’s exactly the way Cork-born and raised actor Cillian Murphy likes it.

Murphy has had a number of well-received roles in films like "Batman Begins", "Red Eye" with Rachel McAdams and "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," which won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006.

He’s also a co-star in "Inception," one of the big summer 2010 releases that also features Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine. 

The film is directed by the Oscar nominated Christopher Nolan, who has worked with Murphy before on the Batman movies.  But Murphy can say little about the film that reportedly cost $200 million to make.

“I haven’t seen it and all I am allowed to reveal is what’s in the trailer,” he told The Irish Times last week while promoting Perrier’s Bounty, one of the low-budget films that he enjoys making.

“I can say that in an age when we think we’re inured to surprises, it should shake things up a little bit. (Nolan) really is an amazing director.”

Murphy, married and living in London with two kids, was much more focused on music than acting when growing up, he said.

“I wanted to perform. I’d be up on stage whacking away on a wheelbarrow or whatever. But, at that stage, it never occurred to me that acting could be the outlet for performance. The acting came as a natural accident,” he revealed.

After a year spent studying law at University College Cork, Murphy realized that a career in the field was most definitely not on the cards.

“I got a big part in theater, then I got a small part in a film, then a larger part in a film and so on. There was no great snowballing,” he says.

“That is the way it should happen. You get to learn as you go along. To be honest, the idea of being catapulted into immediate recognition would have been absolutely terrifying to me.”

Irish actor Cillian MurphyPA