Less tortured than Hardy (then again, who isn't?), but infinitely cooler than the clean-shaven cookie cutter RADA boys that Britain holds so dear, Cillian Murphy is an intriguing kind of Irish leading man.
Aged 40 (seriously) and only just hitting his stride, Murphy is a Christopher Nolan muse, a Danny Boyle muse and, in Peaky Blinders, the face of a rare homegrown TV show that can actually compete in America.
Enigmatic, articulate, stylish - in an everyman kind of way - and unfazed by the trappings of Hollywood, Cillian Murphy is unquestionably one of the coolest men in Britain right now.
And here's how you can be, too*.
*Cheekbones sold separately.
Check Your Privilege
A refreshing change from the modern strain of actor who really, truly believes that them being quite good in a film has the power to end famine (*cough, Hiddleston), Cillian is smart enough and empathetic enough to appreciate the hard work of those around him.
Speaking to Esquire (that's us!) about the best advice he'd ever been given, he said: "When I started out, an older actor told me to always hang up your costume. It reinforces the fact there's a lot of people working in this business, not just the actors. Although the actors tend to be the ones who get singled out, you have an army of people behind the scenes. It's the most collaborative business there is so the least you can do is hang up your costume."
Look Great In An Overcoat
Look Great In A Trench Coat
Create A Different Kind Of Leading Man
As Tommy Shelby in the BBC's 1920's gangster epic Peaky Blinders, Murphy has carved out his own niche as a murky antihero with the sharpest wardrobe on TV, one that's inspired a new breed of guys to reach for the tweed, air tie, three-piece and flat cap. Question: when was the last time you saw a British TV show have a Mad Men effect on style?
While it was initially difficult to believe that a man with as 'fine' a set of features as Murphy could bring a Brummie gang lord to life, the genius of his portrayal lies in the cold ambiguity that hides behind those aquamarine eyes; wielding a kind of ethereal menace that could explode at any minute.
Did we mention the tweed?
Start Your Own Hair Trend
Go into any barbers in the country and ask for a Peaky Blinders... they'll know what you mean.
That's pretty cool, isn't it?
Be In A Band, Then Quit At Coolest Possible Moment
Prior to, you know, becoming one of the most successful Irish actors in recent memory, Murphy moved to London and started a band called The Sons Of Mr Greengenes (dodgy name, but what're you gonna do?).
Turning down a five-album deal, Cillian decided to switch focus to acting instead at the age of 20, which turned into a role in Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later.
And that's that, really.
Have A Style Uniform That Works
A stylish man who errs on the low-key side of the spectrum (Jared Leto is on the other), Cillian has the enviable ability of looking both on-trend and age-appropriate.
Sticking to slim fits and dark tones, in a recent Mr Porter interview he spoke about his "safe" style philosophy: "[Navy] is just safe, man. You can't go wrong with navy. 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."
It's tough to argue with that.
And Blue Eyes That Women Can't Resist
Finally, to complete the Cillian Murphy effect get yourself a pair of eyes of such vivid blue hue, it makes women wobble at the knees and men, well, wobble at the knees too.
You see? Simple.