Who Plays Oppenheimer? Oppenheimer Cast and Character Guide

Who Plays Oppenheimer?

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer boasts an impressive and star-studded cast, led by the talented Cillian Murphy, who takes on the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the renowned “Father of the Atomic Bomb.” Set in the 1930s and 1940s, the film delves into Oppenheimer’s pivotal role in the infamous Manhattan Project, which led to the development of the first nuclear weapons.

Joining Murphy are several familiar faces from Nolan’s previous projects, including Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, and others. However, the cast also introduces fresh talents like Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh, adding depth and diversity to the lineup.

Murphy’s portrayal of Oppenheimer is sure to impress, drawing parallels between the complex character of Oppenheimer and his previous role as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders. As a veteran of Nolan’s films, Murphy’s experience shines through, making him the perfect choice for the lead role.

Blunt’s inclusion as Kitty Oppenheimer, Robert Oppenheimer’s wife, adds emotional depth to the story. Blunt’s exceptional acting abilities, showcased in intense movies like A Quiet Place Part II and Edge of Tomorrow, make her an excellent fit for Nolan’s thrilling biopic.

Matt Damon takes on the role of Leslie Groves, the Army Corps of Engineers overseer responsible for directing the Manhattan Project. Damon’s versatility, honed by his performances in movies like Good Will Hunting and Interstellar, adds another layer of intrigue to the film.

Meanwhile, Florence Pugh portrays Jean Tatlock, a significant figure in Oppenheimer’s life. Pugh’s previous success in movies like Midsommar and Little Women has established her as a heavyweight Hollywood actor, making her an exciting addition to the cast.

The ensemble also includes exceptional talents such as David Krumholtz, Benny Safdie, Josh Hartnett, Matthew Modine, and others, each contributing to the film’s captivating narrative.

Oppenheimer Cast and Character Guide

Oppenheimer is set to be an epic biopic, combining historical events with thrilling elements, making it a must-watch for audiences eager to witness exceptional performances and a gripping storyline. With Christopher Nolan at the helm and this star-studded cast, Oppenheimer is bound to be an unforgettable cinematic experience.



Cillian Murphy

J. Robert Oppenheimer

Emily Blunt

Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer

Matt Damon

Leslie Groves

Robert Downey Jr.

Lewis Strauss

Florence Pugh

Jean Tatlock

Josh Hartnett

Ernest Lawrence

Casey Affleck

Boris Pash

Rami Malek

David L. Hill

Kenneth Branagh

Niels Bohr

Benny Safdie

Edward Teller

Jason Clarke

Roger Robb

Dylan Arnold

Frank Oppenheimer

Tom Conti

Albert Einstein

James D’Arcy

Patrick Blackett

David Dastmalchian

William L. Borden

Dane DeHaan

Kenneth Nichols

Alden Ehrenreich

Senate Aide to Lewis Strauss

Tony Goldwyn

Gordon Gray

Jefferson Hall

Haakon Chevalier

David Krumholtz

Isidor Isaac Rabi

Matthew Modine

Vannevar Bush

Gustaf Skarsgård

Hans Bethe

Michael Angarano

Robert Serber

Jack Quaid

Richard Feynman

Josh Peck

Kenneth Bainbridge

Olivia Thirlby

Lilli Hornig

Danny Deferrari

Enrico Fermi

Devon Bostick

Seth Neddermeyer

Alex Wolff

Luis Walter Alvarez

Scott Grimes


Josh Zuckerman

Giovanni Rossi Lomanitz

Matthias Schweighöfer

Werner Heisenberg

Christopher Denham

Klaus Fuchs

David Rysdahl

Donald Hornig

Guy Burnet

George Eltenton

Louise Lombard

Ruth Tolman

Harrison Gilbertson

Philip Morrison

Emma Dumont

Jackie Oppenheimer

Trond Fausa Aurvåg

George Kistiakowsky

Olli Haaskivi

Edward Condon

Gary Oldman

Harry S. Truman

Hap Lawrence

Lyndon B. Johnson

John Gowans

Ward Evans

Kurt Koehler

Thomas A. Morgan

Macon Blair

Lloyd K. Garrison

Harry Groener

Gale W. McGee

Jack Cutmore-Scott

Lyall Johnson

James Remar

Henry Stimson

Gregory Jbara

Warren Magnuson

Tim DeKay

John Pastore

James Urbaniak

Kurt Gödel


Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer:

Cillian Murphy, a seasoned actor known for his roles in Nolan’s previous films like The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, takes on the lead role of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer, historically known as the “Father of the Atomic Bomb,” played a pivotal role in the development of nuclear weapons during the Manhattan Project. Murphy’s portrayal is expected to bring depth and complexity to this influential historical figure.

Emily Blunt as Katherine ‘Kitty’ Oppenheimer:

Emily Blunt, a talented actress renowned for her performances in A Quiet Place Part II and Edge of Tomorrow, joins the cast as Kitty Oppenheimer, J. Robert Oppenheimer’s wife. Kitty supports her husband through the challenges of his work and stands by him despite the difficulties they face, adding a compelling emotional dimension to the film.

Matt Damon as Leslie Groves:

Matt Damon, an Academy Award-winning actor known for his versatile roles, plays Leslie Groves, the Army Corps of Engineers overseer who directed the Manhattan Project. Groves was instrumental in overseeing the construction and coordination of the project, and Damon’s portrayal is expected to capture the determination and authority of this historical figure.

Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss:

Robert Downey Jr., famous for his role as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, takes on the character of Lewis Strauss. Strauss was a naval officer and served on the United States Atomic Energy Commission, and his clashes with Oppenheimer during the Manhattan Project add dramatic tension to the film.

Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock:

Florence Pugh, known for her outstanding performances in Midsommar and Little Women, plays Jean Tatlock. Jean was a member of the United States Communist Party and had a romantic relationship with J. Robert Oppenheimer, impacting his life profoundly. Pugh’s portrayal is expected to bring complexity and emotion to this influential character.

David Krumholtz as Isidor Isaac Rabi:

David Krumholtz, a versatile actor known for his comedic roles, takes on the character of Isidor Isaac Rabi, a physicist who befriends Oppenheimer during their student days. Rabi’s anti-war beliefs and eventual involvement in the Manhattan Project add depth to the film, and Krumholtz’s performance is anticipated to be both compelling and engaging.

Benny Safdie as Edward Teller:

Benny Safdie, known for his work as a director and actor in crime thrillers like Good Time and Uncut Gems, portrays Edward Teller. Teller was a theoretical physicist who worked with Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project but disagreed with him on the use of hydrogen in creating the bomb, leading to a falling-out between the two scientists.

Josh Hartnett as Ernest Lawrence:

Josh Hartnett, recognized for his roles in Pearl Harbor and The Faculty, takes on the character of Ernest Lawrence. Lawrence, an American nuclear physicist and professor, played a crucial role in recruiting Oppenheimer to work on the Manhattan Project, and his interactions with Oppenheimer bring depth to the narrative.

Matthew Modine as Vannevar Bush:

Matthew Modine, known for his roles in Stranger Things and Full Metal Jacket, plays Vannevar Bush. Bush was an electrical engineer and inventor who worked closely with Oppenheimer during the Manhattan Project, sharing similar conflicts about their involvement in developing the atomic bomb.

Dylan Arnold as Frank Oppenheimer:

Dylan Arnold, known for his roles in Halloween Kills and the TV show You, portrays Frank Oppenheimer, J. Robert Oppenheimer’s younger brother. Frank, a professor of physics at the University of Colorado, eventually joins his brother at Los Alamos to work on the bomb, despite initial government reluctance due to his ties to communism.

Michael Angarano as Robert Serber:

Michael Angarano, recognized for his role in This Is Us and his appearances in movies like Sky High and Haywire, plays Robert Serber. Serber was one of the many physicists who worked on the Manhattan Project alongside Oppenheimer, and his contributions to the Trinity test sequence add intensity to the film.

Josh Peck as Kenneth Bainbridge:

Josh Peck, known for his comedic role in Drake & Josh, takes on the character of Kenneth Bainbridge. Bainbridge directed the first test of the atomic bomb, the Trinity test, for the Manhattan Project. Peck’s portrayal is expected to bring both drama and intensity to this significant historical event.

Jack Quaid as Richard Feynman:

Jack Quaid, famous for his role in The Boys, plays Richard Feynman, one of the most influential theoretical physicists in the film. Feynman’s peculiar fascination with bongos provides a comedic element in an otherwise emotionally demanding movie.

Gary Oldman as Harry S. Truman:

Gary Oldman, a seasoned actor known for his transformative roles, takes on the character of President Harry S. Truman. Truman plays a crucial role in the decision to use the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, adding weight to the historical context of the film.

Alden Ehrenreich as Senate Aide:

Alden Ehrenreich, recognized for his portrayal of Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, plays the Senate Aide who assists Lewis Strauss during Oppenheimer’s hearing. His performance is expected to contribute to the tense political atmosphere of the film.

Kenneth Branagh as Neils Bohr:

Kenneth Branagh, known for his extensive work as an actor and director, takes on the role of Neils Bohr. Bohr, one of Oppenheimer’s most influential mentors, provides valuable guidance to the young scientist throughout the film.

Dane DeHaan as Kenneth Nichols:

Dane DeHaan, known for his roles in Chronicle and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, portrays Kenneth Nichols, an officer of the US Army tasked with monitoring Oppenheimer during the Manhattan Project. DeHaan’s performance adds suspense and intrigue to the storyline.

Olli Haaskivi as Edward Condon:

Olli Haaskivi, a Finnish actor, plays Edward Condon, a physicist on the team of scientists involved in the Manhattan Project. Haaskivi’s portrayal is expected to provide authenticity and depth to this lesser-known character.

Louise Lombard as Ruth Tolman:

Louise Lombard, known for her roles in The House of Eliott and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, takes on the character of Ruth Tolman, a member of the National Defense Research Committee in Oppenheimer. Lombard’s performance contributes to the historical accuracy of the film.

Harrison Gilbertson as Philip Morrison:

Harrison Gilbertson, recognized for his roles in Need for Speed and Upgrade, portrays Philip Morrison, another physicist who collaborates with Oppenheimer during the Manhattan Project. Gilbertson’s performance is anticipated to bring depth to this supporting character.

These talented actors, under the direction of Christopher Nolan, are sure to bring the captivating story of Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb to life, making the film a compelling and unforgettable cinematic experience.



Oppenheimer (2023) is a biographical thriller film written and directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan. The movie draws its inspiration from the 2005 biography “American Prometheus” penned by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. It revolves around the remarkable life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a brilliant theoretical physicist, whose pivotal role in the development of the first nuclear weapons during the Manhattan Project ushered in the era of the Atomic Age.

In the film, Cillian Murphy delivers a compelling performance as J. Robert Oppenheimer, portraying the complexities and challenges faced by the renowned scientist. Emily Blunt takes on the role of Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, his devoted wife, whose unwavering support adds depth to the narrative. Matt Damon masterfully embodies General Leslie Groves, the head of the Manhattan Project, and Robert Downey Jr. portrays Lewis Strauss, a senior member of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, whose interactions with Oppenheimer intensify the drama.

The ensemble supporting cast includes other exceptional actors such as Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek, and Kenneth Branagh, who bring various essential characters to life, adding richness and authenticity to the storytelling.

The project was announced in September 2021, following a fierce bidding war for Nolan’s screenplay, ultimately won by Universal Pictures. In October of the same year, Cillian Murphy was confirmed to play the role of Oppenheimer, while other main cast members joined the production between November 2021 and April 2022. Pre-production commenced in January 2022, and filming took place from February to May.

Notably, Oppenheimer features innovative cinematography. The film was shot using a combination of IMAX 65 mm and 65 mm large-format film. A groundbreaking aspect is the use of sections filmed in IMAX black-and-white film photography, marking a historic milestone in cinema. Staying true to Nolan’s style, practical effects took precedence over computer-generated imagery, contributing to the film’s authenticity.

The highly anticipated film premiered at Le Grand Rex in Paris on July 11, 2023, followed by theatrical releases in the United States and United Kingdom on July 21, 2023, courtesy of Universal Pictures. Coinciding with the release of another movie titled “Barbie,” an interesting phenomenon known as “Barbenheimer” emerged on social media, encouraging audiences to watch both films as a double feature.

Oppenheimer has been a commercial success, grossing over $209 million worldwide. It has garnered widespread critical acclaim, with particular praise directed towards the stellar cast, compelling screenplay, and mesmerizing visuals. Christopher Nolan once again delivers a thought-provoking and immersive cinematic experience, bringing to life the intriguing and significant story of J. Robert Oppenheimer and his monumental contribution to history.

Oppenheimer Trailer

Oppenheimer Plot

In 1926, a young 22-year-old J. Robert Oppenheimer embarks on his academic journey at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge under the guidance of Patrick Blackett. However, he struggles with homesickness and anxiety, finding Blackett’s demands overwhelming. In a peculiar incident, Oppenheimer leaves Blackett a poisoned apple, which almost leads to a mishap when visiting scientist Niels Bohr comes close to eating it. Undeterred, Oppenheimer completes his physics Ph.D. at the University of Göttingen in Germany, where he crosses paths with Werner Heisenberg.

Returning to the United States, Oppenheimer aims to advance quantum physics research and takes up teaching positions at the University of California, Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology. During this period, he encounters Jean Tatlock, a member of the Communist Party USA, with whom he shares an intermittent romantic relationship until her tragic suicide. He later meets his future wife, Katherine Puening, a biologist and ex-Communist.

The course of Oppenheimer’s life takes a momentous turn when U.S. Army General Leslie Groves recruits him to lead the Manhattan Project, an ambitious effort to develop an atomic bomb. Oppenheimer’s motivation is fueled by his concern over the Nazis potentially working on their own nuclear weapons program, led by his former associate, Heisenberg. In Los Alamos, New Mexico, Oppenheimer assembles a team of brilliant scientists, including Edward Teller, Isidor Isaac Rabi, and David L. Hill, with the intention of creating the bomb in secrecy. Their goal is to create a weapon that could potentially save the world, despite the grave global consequences it may entail. During the development process, Oppenheimer and Albert Einstein contemplate the potential for a catastrophic chain reaction triggered by the bomb.

The completion of the bomb coincides with Germany’s surrender in World War II and the successful Trinity test before the Potsdam Conference. U.S. President Harry S. Truman decides to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ultimately forces Japan’s surrender and thrusts Oppenheimer into the limelight as the “father of the atomic bomb.” However, Oppenheimer is haunted by the immense destruction and suffering caused by these bombings. He personally urges Truman to exercise restraint in developing even more powerful weapons, but Truman dismisses his concerns and takes sole responsibility for the bomb’s use. Oppenheimer is burdened with intense guilt.

As the Cold War with the Soviet Union intensifies, Oppenheimer becomes an advocate against further nuclear development, particularly the hydrogen bomb, putting him at odds with Edward Teller. His stance becomes a point of contention, and Lewis Strauss, chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, holds animosity towards Oppenheimer, leading to a hearing to remove him from political influence. Unfortunately, Oppenheimer is betrayed by testimonies from Teller and other associates, and Strauss exploits his connections with former and current communists, including Jean Tatlock and his brother Frank. Despite support from allies like Rabi, Oppenheimer’s security clearance is revoked, damaging his reputation and diminishing his policy influence.

In 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson attempts to politically rehabilitate Oppenheimer by presenting him with the Enrico Fermi Award. It is revealed that Oppenheimer’s earlier conversation with Einstein was not about Strauss but rather the far-reaching implications of nuclear weapons. Oppenheimer is left pondering whether the Trinity test, a significant part of his legacy, set off a “chain reaction” of events that could lead to a catastrophic nuclear holocaust.

Oppenheimer Review

In Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan delves into the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American theoretical physicist responsible for developing the first nuclear weapon during World War II. The film chronicles his journey from a genius student fascinated by quantum mechanics to becoming the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, where he led the top-secret Manhattan Project.

The movie’s main event, the Trinity nuclear test, is a cinematic spectacle that lives up to its hype. The anticipation builds to an eerie crescendo, heightened by Oppenheimer quoting the Bhagavad Gita, “Now I become Death, the destroyer of worlds…” However, it’s the aftermath of the explosion that truly stuns the audience. Oppenheimer’s realization of the horrors he unleashed upon the world and the crowd’s jubilation over the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki leave a lasting impact.

Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Oppenheimer is a casting coup. His gaunt face and haunting eyes convey the internal turmoil and external arrogance of the brilliant physicist. Nolan crafts a complex protagonist, making it difficult to fully understand Oppenheimer, which adds to the film’s intrigue.

The movie’s sprawl, typical of Nolan’s style, astonishes and frustrates. The nonlinear narrative takes us through Oppenheimer’s early days in a linear-enough fashion, bristling with kinetic energy in dialogues and debates. However, as the story progresses, it becomes a dense web of events and characters. The rivalry between Oppenheimer and Lewis Strauss, portrayed brilliantly by Robert Downey Jr., turns into a revenge saga, somewhat stifling the enigmatic origin story.

Nolan’s direction and technical prowess contribute to an immersive experience. The anxiety-inducing score, impressive cinematography, and frenetic editing transport us into Oppenheimer’s troubled mind. The supporting cast, featuring stars like Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, and Gary Oldman, adds depth to the narrative.

In conclusion, Oppenheimer is a compelling exploration of a complex mind and a monumental achievement in biopic filmmaking. Although it falters in some parts, Nolan’s ambitious storytelling and outstanding performances make it a must-watch for cinema enthusiasts. The film prompts reflection on the consequences of scientific discoveries and the moral dilemmas faced by those involved in shaping history.


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