How Much Is Cillian Murphy Actually Worth?

If you've seen "Peaky Blinders," then you know that Irish mobster Tommy Shelby is all about securing the bag. If you know the man who plays him, Cillian Murphy (pronounced Kill-ee-an), then you know that he's nothing like the character that made him a star. The humble Irish actor leads a notoriously private and low-key life. Despite raking in billions of dollars at the box office and being worth an estimated $20 million, Murphy sees himself as an average everyday guy. "I really don't go out much," he told The Guardian in 2022, "And people are so underwhelmed when they encounter me, so I'm very happy with that. And I'm always happy to chat. What I don't like is people surreptitiously taking photographs," he said.

Murphy stays off social media and tries to mind his own business, but still, questions abound. Where does he live, and how big is his house? What does he spend his money on? How much did he earn on "Peaky Blinders"? Below we dig into how an actor with a $20 million net worth managed to craft a life that seems so shockingly ordinary — but as you'll find out, for Murphy, it's never been about the money.

Cillian Murphy scooped up a gorgeous house in Dublin

After Cillian Murphy, his wife, and their children spent several in London, the "Peaky Blinders" actor purchased a swanky house in Dublin. He scooped up a stunning home in Monkstown — an upscale neighborhood in the capital — for just under $2 million in 2015, per Hello!. The house was built in 1863 and includes historic features like a drawing room. 

Murphy was attracted to Dublin not just because he was born in Ireland, but because he wanted put down roots somewhere that was a little more chill than London or Los Angeles. "There's a point where the things that were excellent and stimulating are now a bit sort of tedious and draining," he told the Irish Times. The actor was also attracted to Dublin because he wanted his kids to be more connected to the country where he was born and raised. "I don't know, it's kind of an Irish story to move away, do your thing and come home — that seems to be a common narrative for Irish people," he said during an "Armchair Expert" appearance. "And then we wanted the kids to be Irish. They were sort of at that age where they were pre-teens, they had very posh English accents, and I wasn't appreciating that too much, so we decided to come back." 

Cillian Murphy found success as a hard worker

Cillian Murphy takes his job seriously, and his success reflects his commitment to his craft. He has built up a reputation as one of the hardest workers in Hollywood. "Cillian's not silly," Sam Neill, who worked with Murphy on "Peaky Blinders," told The Guardian in 2022. "He does not splash his life around. He does not turn up to set shredded. He is extremely diligent and extremely good at what he does."

That ironclad reputation as an industry pro has helped Murphy form long-lasting partnerships with big time directors like Christopher Nolan. "I'll always turn up for Chris, whatever the size of the part," he said in The Guardian. Nolan sings the actor's praises too, finding him to be a committed and diligent actor. "Cillian Murphy is one of the great actors of his generation both on stage and on film, and working with him repeatedly over the years has been an increasingly rewarding experience," Nolan told GQ in 2019.

As for Murphy, he loves the work, and that's why he works so hard. Sure, the glitz and the money are nice perks, but digging into the actual acting part of being an actor is what fuels him. However, being a public figure isn't always peachy. "What I find hard is getting up and being hilarious or entertaining as myself," he told The Guardian of the notoriety that has unfortunately followed his talent. "I find it terrifying because I'm not a personality, you know?"

Cillian Murphy has a side hustle

You probably know Cillian Murphy best for his work in film and television, but he's also an accomplished musician. So accomplished that before becoming an actor, the "Peaky Blinders" star seriously considered making music as a full-time gig but ultimately decided not to pursue it after his band was offered a record deal that just didn't feel right. Ultimately it was for the best, he believes. "We did pretty well, but I'm happy it didn't work out," he told The Guardian. "Unless you're Coldplay, you get signed, used up, and spat out. At least as an actor, you can make decisions on your own."

Murphy returned to music later in life after securing himself as an A-list actor. While he likes to mess around with instruments, he has found success in curating playlists for Radio 6 in Ireland. "I couldn't do live radio — I'd find that absolutely terrifying," he told The Guardian. "I like just sitting down here in the dark, coming up with the playlists." Murphy's taste is certainly eclectic. In an interview with Radio 6, his favorite songs ranged from works by Kendrick Lamar to Radiohead.

Besides earning a little extra income from his Radio 6 gig, music is a soothing force in Murphy's life. "In terms of virtuosity, composition, mood and atmosphere. I listen to a lot of piano music, solo piano music is perhaps the music I return to most when I need to put myself in a meditative frame of mind," he told the station.

Cillian Murphy likes a low-key life

You might think that Cillian Murphy would live a lavish lifestyle, but you couldn't be more wrong. When it comes to the day-to-day, the actor likes things to be low-key. He loves his line of work, but he is not exactly a fan of the fame that comes with it. If he had it his way, it sure sounds like he would just be a regular guy who happens to make a living as an actor. "Someone said to me very early on, 'They'll only treat you like a celebrity if you behave like one'. That stuck with me," he once said in The Sydney Morning Herald. And so, he tries not to act like a celebrity. 

"I didn't see myself as a personality. I see myself as an actor," Murphy told the Irish Times in 2021. "I think those are two distinct jobs." He went on to explain that keeping out of the public eye helps him do his job. "The less that people know about me, the better I can portray other people," he said. 

It's true Murphy is a successful movie star who may have turned those big paychecks into a fancy home in Dublin, but what goes on in that house is surprisingly pedestrian for a star of his caliber and wealth. "We cook, we watch movies, we listen to music," Murphy told The Guardian in 2022. "It's so unremarkable! It's not good copy," he joked.

What did Peaky Blinders pay?

Despite leading the cast in a hit show, Cillian Murphy may not have earned as much as one might expect for "Peaky Blinders." As you surely have picked up on by now, is a pretty private guy, so if you hoped he'd disclosed his salary at some point, you're out of luck. However, we do know a little something about the budget for the show, which could shed some insight into how much green Murphy actually brought home.

As the lead of the show and later an executive producer, Murphy likely earned more than anyone else in the cast. However, "Blinders" had a notoriously small budget, especially for such a popular series. "It's a huge undertaking to go and do this in a TV drama that doesn't have the budget that a lot of the bigger American shows have that we're competing with," a Season 6 director told The Sun in 2022. According to the late Helen McCoy, who starred alongside Murphy, the shoestring budget dictated a lot about production. "You're working really, really quickly in Peaky Blinders, and we don't have an enormous budget," she explained to the Radio Times. "So you come to it, you light it, great, where are you going to stand, good, take one, take two, have we got it? – great, you move on."

So, how much did he earn? Well, by its final season, "Peaky Blinders" had a reported budget of around $1.5 million per episode, meaning Murphy was likely making well under $1 million per episode.

Cillian Murphy is box office gold

Cillian Murphy may not have made "The Big Bang Theory" money as the lead of "Peaky Blinders," but when it comes to the box office, he has been part of some big budget features. He's worked with a number of high-profile directors, including Danny Boyle, John Krasinski, and of course, his longtime collaborator Christopher Nolan.

Murphy's most successful films (as of 2022) include Nolan epics "Dunkirk," "Inception," and "Batman Begins." His highest-grossing film of all time, "The Dark Knight," brought in more than $1 billion worldwide. Need more convincing that you should cast Murphy in your next movie? "28 Days Later," his breakout film, ended up earning a profit of more than $70 million upon its release. And in May 2021, audiences flocked to "A Quiet Place 2," which earned more than $58 million on opening weekend. As Variety noted, those were big numbers for a theater release at that point of the pandemic. 

As always, though, it's not about the money from Murphy. It's just about the work. "It's lovely when you get to work with actors whose work you've admired, especially when they turn out to be wonderful people as well," he said of teaming up with Emily Blunt, per Irish Central. "And that was the case with Emily. She's just a really good person and really great company, and same with John [Krasinksi]."

Cillian Murphy gives back

Cillian Murphy has money to spare, and he likes to spend it on those in need. The movie star was inspired to get involved with an Irish charity that combats adolescent burnout and stress after watching his sons try to navigate the ups and downs of the modern school system. "There are kids who really suffer mentally and feel under such intense pressure because of the bottleneck of a points system we've developed," Murphy told the Irish Times in 2017. "I'm lucky in that I was never prone to depression or panic attacks, but that year was a dark year," he said of his final year in high school. The "Red Eye" actor teamed up with professors at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre to promote empathy — an influx of which academics believe will remedy these trigger point situations — among Irish school children.

Murphy's soft spots extend beyond school children, though he has also worked with Focus Ireland to produce radiothons to benefit people experiencing homelessness around the country. "Homelessness is a problem that is very, very visible in our cities around the country, and you can't really escape it, so it's something that I thought I'd help out with," he said of his inspiration for getting involved. "The Radiothon is a great idea, very proactive, and that's the kinda thing I like to support." In 2015 Murphy's efforts helped raise nearly $30,000 for the cause.

Cillian Murphy didn't grow up rich

There's no debating that Cillian Murphy is a natural when it comes to taking the screen or stage, but it was never a given that he was destined for fame. In fact, the future silver screen star grew up in a very humble home in rural Ireland, where he was raised by his mother and father, both of whom were teachers. While they couldn't give Murphy a leg up in Hollywood, they did provide him with early exposure to literature, art, and music. According to Esquire, the family spent weekends at Irish music festivals, which fostered his love of music. By the time he was a teenager, he was writing his own music and was even offered a contract (along with the rest of the band), per the Irish Times. Murphy famously declined the record deal and set his sights on something more humble and academic — just like his parents.

Murphy had his sights set on becoming an attorney, but as soon as he entered law school, he realized life and court wouldn't suit him. As per Esquire, he flunked out of the program after just one year. At a loss of what to do, and having walked away from a lucrative record deal, Murphy recalled how much he loved studying theater in school, and decided to audition for a play "Disco Pigs," which would become his big break.

Cillian Murphy keeps it simple

Sure, Cillian Murphy has a lot of money, but you'd never know he was worth $20 million by looking at him — at least not from how he dresses. As you might've gathered by now, the actor is an understated person, through and through. "I like to keep it simple. I'm more a classic guy," he told GQ when asked about his style. "Good pair of jeans, good t-shirt, good belt. I stick with the things that work." In a separate interview with Mr Porter, Murphy noted that he tends toward blue hues, even though his wife would not mind it if he mixed up his color palette a bit. "It's just safe, man. You can't go wrong with navy," he advised. "My taste is very much: a good pair of jeans, a good jacket, a good pair of shoes. Well-made things that fit. I'm not adventurous."

So yes, it sounds like most of Murphy's wardrobe sticks to essentials that veer away from flash and frill, but there seems to be at least one area where he likes to splurge: watches. "I have an Omega because they put the first watch on the moon," he told GQ of the accessory that can cost over $100,000. "If it can go to the moon, that's good enough for me — it should last a few years. I quite like old school, classical things." Yes, it's a fancy timepiece, but in Cillian Murphy style, it's still (relatively) practical.