There’s a fluidity to Irish stage and screen actor Cillian Murphy; in his movements, the lilt of his voice. It’s what makes him such an enthralling actor to see on the screen – he knows how to make you feel things and move his audience. It also makes him a natural match for the latest Montblanc campaign What Moves You, Makes You.
“They say that Irish people are great storytellers, you know? That old cliche,” says Murphy in the new campaign video. “But I’ve loved story in every form, since I was a kid. Originally books, then I got involved in theatre and then film and television. But for me it’s always been the emotion.”
Murphy, who is joined by fellow Mark Makers (Montblanc’s term for the brand’s extended familia and, it has to be said, quite a clever one given the context) South Korean DJ and entrepreneur Peggy Gou, has carved a name for himself as an actor who knows how to disappear inside a role. It’s a rare gift, one that separates the actors from the artists, and one that lets you forget you’re watching someone perform. Instead, you feel the scene with them.
“Cillian and Peggy are both Mark Makers,” Montblanc’s EVP Marketing Vincent Montalescot says. “They’re both living proof that when you do what inspires you with audacity and creativity, you lead a more fulfilling life. In their own original ways, they both leave their mark in the world through their artistry and creativity.”
Mark-making is a signature for Montblanc, whose iconic writing instruments have been held by some of the most famous hands in history. It’s been the pen of choice for numerous U.S Presidents including Bush and Obama; Queen Elizabeth II is fond of the brand and our very own Malcolm Turnbull is alleged to enjoy the feel of a Montblanc Friedrich Schiller Special fountain pen.
Murphy’s is the latest face to join the German since they officially launched the What Moves You, Makes You campaign last year, joining an illustrious roll-call that includes Spike Lee, Xin Zhi Lei and Taron Egerton. The purpose: inspiring people to reach their full potential by doing what moves them, as opposed to going with the flow.
Which describes Murphy’s approach to his own craft. The Peaky Blinders star first began on the stage and it wasn’t until he appeared in Danny Boyle’s sleeper hit, the post-apocalyptic and game-changing zombie flic 28 Days Later that Murphy’s potential was spotted by those in Hollywood. The theatre boy turned indie star from Cork was catapulted onto the global stage, yet somehow never himself became a Hollywood product. No matter how in-demand he became, Murphy continued to pursue roles that gave him scope to flex that thespian muscle he had begun to build on stage.
“Emotion of the story is the thing that is key for me. If I don’t feel altered by the story and the truth of the performance then it hasn’t worked for me as a performer and a viewer”, Murphy explains in the campaign.
The timing of Murphy joining Montblanc coincides with the brand’s new line, UltraBlack. Much like the name suggests, UltraBlack pays homage to the central colour that dictates Montblanc’s timeless style – black. The range is a curation of key pieces from each category of Montblanc’s array of designer goods: leather goods, technology, timepieces and of course writing instruments.
“Black is the Maison’s essence, and is core to the brand’s identity,” says Montblanc’s CEO Nicolas Baretzk. “The pieces and their functionality, while unified by their black design, were carefully selected based on the everyday needs and mindset of those who don’t just strive to succeed, but who leave a mark with everything they do, always with meaning and purpose.”