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See the 'Oppenheimer' cast side-by-side with the real historical figures they play

Christopher Nolan recruited a star-studded cast for his latest theatrical release.

Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated biographical thriller "Oppenheimer" has drawn attention for its dynamos before and behind the big screen.

Cillian Murphy portrays the story's titular character, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who led the effort to develop the world's first nuclear weapon during WWII. The work on the Manhattan Project resulted in the U.S. dropping two atomic bombs on Japan, and worldwide nuclear proliferation.

In addition to Murphy, the film features Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh and more playing physicists and figures in Oppenheimer's life.

Below find the faces of the actors and the historical figures they portray in the film.

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer
Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer Universal Pictures, AP

"Peaky Blinders" actor Cillian Murphy takes on the film's titular character,  Julius Robert Oppenheimer. Best known as the “father of the atomic bomb,” Oppenheimer led the development of the Manhattan Project during World War II, which produced the world's first nuclear bomb. 

Oppenheimer was a graduate of Harvard University and received his Ph.D. from the University of Göttingen, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He later went on to teach physics at the University of California at Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology.

During World War II, scientists like Albert Einstein, who'd been forced to flee Nazi Germany, warned the United States government that the country was engineering a nuclear bomb. Einstein later called his letter to former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt his "one great mistake."

In response, the U.S. Army launched the Manhattan Project in order to develop its own.

Oppenheimer became the director of a laboratory in 1942. Three years later, in August 1945, the U.S. used two nuclear weapons to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, ending the war.

Emily Blunt as Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer

Emily Blunt, Katherine-Kitty Oppenheimer
Emily Blunt as Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer Universal Pictures, AP

The "Mary Poppins" star portrays Katherine Oppenheimer, a German American biologist who was also the wife of the atomic bomb creator.

According to Atomic Heritage Foundation, Kitty moved from Germany to the United States at the age of two and later graduated with a degree in botany from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her marriage to Oppenheimer, Kitty was married two other times.

She remained married to the famous physicist from 1940 until his death in 1967, and the couple had two children together: Peter Oppenheimer and Katherine "Toni" Oppenheimer Silber.

Kitty moved with her husband and children to the site of the Manhattan Project's development in Los Alamos, New Mexico, according to Britannica. While there, she worked as a laboratory technician studying the impacts of radiation on humans.

Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock

Jean Tatlock
Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock Universal Pictures, Library of Congress

Florence Pugh steps into the shoes of the American psychiatrist and physician who had a romantic relationship with J. Robert Oppenheimer before his marriage to Kitty.

According to the book "An Atomic Love Story: The Extraordinary Women in Robert Oppenheimer’s Life" Tatlock was a member of the Communist Party.

In June 1943, Tatlock and Oppenheimer had a one-night affair in which intelligence agents listened in on, according to Britannica. The affair would later be exposed in 1954 during the United States Atomic Energy Commission's security hearing involving the physicist, which resulted in his security clearance being revoked.

Matt Damon as Leslie Groves

Matt Damon as Leslie Groves
Matt Damon as Leslie Groves Universal Pictures, AP

Academy Award winner Matt Damon plays Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves Jr., a West Point graduate and an influential United States Army Corps of Engineers officer.

Prior to heading the Manhattan Project, Groves led the construction of the Pentagon from 1941 to 1943. Groves selected Oppenheimer as the director of the Manhattan Project, per the Atomic Heritage Foundation.

Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss

Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss
Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss Universal Pictures, AP

The man behind "Iron Man" is Lewis Strauss, former chair of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The conflict between Strauss and Oppenheimer vacillated between personal and professional issues.

The two found themselves in opposition when it came to the creation of a hydrogen bomb, which Oppenheimer disagreed with. Strauss — who was active in his Jewish faith — also took with Oppenheimer's lack of dedication to Judaism.

In 1954, Strauss pushed for the revocation of Oppenheimer's security clearance during the Oppenheimer security hearing.

Rami Malek as David Hill

Rami Malek as David Hill.Melinda Sue Gordon / Universal Pictures

Rami Malek, who played Freddie Mercury in the biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," is David Hill, a physicist who worked with Oppenheimer at the Los Alamos Laboratory.

Dylan Arnold as Frank Oppenheimer

Dr. Frank P. Oppenheimer
Dylan Arnold as Frank Oppenheimer Universal Pictures, Bettman Archive

Dylan Arnold gained fandom with his role as Theo in the Netflix thriller series "You" and Part as Noah in the “After” romance series. In "Oppenheimer," he plays the titular character's younger brother Frank Oppenheimer.

Tom Conti as Albert Einstein

Tom Conti is Albert Einstein
Tom Conti as Albert Einstein Universal Pictures, Corbis

Scottish actor Tom Conti portrays the famed physicist Albert Einstein who developed the theory of relativity. He signed the Einstein–Szilard letter, which was sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 in order to alert him of Germany’s nuclear weapons program.

In an interview with Newsweek Magazine after the war, Einstein said, "Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in developing an atomic bomb, I would have done nothing.”