Cultural background in Hollywood: “I’m a very proud Irish man”


This Sunday night, the most important event for the movie industry took place, marking its 96th edition: the Academy Awards(Oscars). The event is not only watched by millions of cinema enthusiasts, but it’s also a big night for recognizing the talent in the industry. And while we could have a discussion about all of the awards, all being impressive in their own way, we will talk about the Oscar for “Lead actor”. 

And the Oscar went to “…a very proud Irish man”. Cillian Murphy received his first nomination and first win for his role in the highly awarded movie “Oppenheimer”. Setting aside his stunning performance and clearly deserved recognition, we want to discuss his speech and how he sets a great example of celebrating cultural diversity in Hollywood. 

In the many interviews and speeches he gives, he usually finds a way to remind us all of his roots. Born and raised in Ireland, Cillian mentioned that “moving home from London was the best thing we did” in an interview for The Irish Times. During his acceptance speech for the Oscar, Cillian took the time to mention his roots once again, affirming that he is a proud Irish man. This marked an important moment for the Irish community, as he is the first Irish actor to win an Oscar.

The cultural diversity and representation in Hollywood often has a very superficial feel to it, the more important aspects being the actors and their work. When people like Cillian make it a habit of celebrating their heritage and bringing it up constantly, that’s when it gets imprinted in the public’s mind, and then he is not just another actor, he becomes an Irish actor. 

While this could be a personal characteristic of Cillian’s, it might also be deeply related to the culture itself. Irish people take a lot of pride in their culture, either through clothes, art and symbols, or simply through their gatherings and traditions. Ireland is also a country with a very rich culture, so there is no excuse when it comes to celebrating it one way or another. From Aran knitwear and Irish caps, to St. Patrick’s Day and Irish dancing, the cultural aspects are not only for Irish people, but they become global means of celebration. 

Nevertheless, Cillian’s speech and his view on the country he grew up in should be encouraged and recognized more in Hollywood. With such a large community of talented people, the cultural diversity has to be highly celebrated. We have to transform actors into Irish actors, French actors, South-American actors and so on. We have to make a habit of recognizing the talents of the world rather than the talents of Hollywood. 


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