While Cillian Murphy leads the cast as the titular J. Robert Oppenheimer, the cast also contains Hollywood legends such as Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., and even a surprise appearance from Gary Oldman.
Oppenheimer Cast: Every Actor and the Historical Figure They Play
1. Cillian Murphy - J. Robert Oppenheimer
After being featured in five previous Christopher Nolan films, Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy gets to take on the leading role in Oppenheimer.
J. Robert Oppenheimer was a renowned American physicist and the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, leading the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.
2. Emily Blunt - Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer
Emily Blunt plays the opposite of Cillian Murphy as Katherine "Kitty" Oppenheimer, the supportive wife of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
3. Matt Damon - Leslie Groves
Lieutenant General Leslie Groves supervised the Pentagon's construction and led the Manhattan Project during World War II.
Golden Globe and Academy Award winner Matt Damon takes on this role alongside Murphy's Oppenheimer.
4. Robert Downey Jr. - Lewis Strauss
Lewis Strauss was an American businessman and public servant who served as the Chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission.
5. Florence Pugh - Jean Tatlock
Florence Pugh takes on the pivotal role of Jean Tatlock, an American psychiatrist, and poet known for her romantic involvement with J. Robert Oppenheimer.
6. Josh Hartnett - Ernest Lawrence
Ernest Lawrence was an American physicist and inventor who played a crucial role in the Manhattan Project. Josh Hartnett, who recently starred with Aaron Paul in Season 6 of Black Mirror, takes on the role.
7. Casey Affleck - Boris Pash
Boris Pash, an American military officer and intelligence agent, gained recognition as the leader of a mission that had the objective of collecting intelligence regarding the development of German nuclear weapons.
Academy Award-winning actor Casey Affleck takes on the role of Pash.
8. Rami Malek - David Hill
Academy Award-winning actor Rami Malek, best known for his roles in Bohemian Rhapsody and No Time to Die, plays David Hill, an experimental physicist at the University of Chicago’s Met Lab during the Manhattan Project.
9. Kenneth Branagh - Niels Bohr
Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express) plays Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist who made significant contributions to the understanding of atomic structure and quantum mechanics.
10. Benny Safdie - Edward Teller
Actor and director (Uncut Gems) Benny Safdie plays Edward Teller, a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist who is often called the "father of the hydrogen bomb."
11. Dylan Arnold - Frank Oppenheimer
Dylan Arnold (You) is Frank Oppenheimer, the younger brother of Cillian Murphy's character. Frank made significant contributions to the field of particle physics and played a key role in promoting scientific literacy.
12. Gustaf Skarsgård - Hans Bethe
Hans Bethe was a German-American physicist who played a crucial role in the Manhattan Project, making important contributions to the development of the atomic bomb.
Best known for his work on the TV series Vikings, Gustaf Skarsgård plays the physicist.
13. David Krumholtz - Isidor Isaac Rabi
Isidor Isaac Rabi was a Noble Prize-winning American physicist. He played a significant role in the Manhattan Project, working on the development of radar technology.
David Krumholtz, best known as Bernard the Elf in The Santa Clause, tackles the important role.
14. Matthew Modine - Vannevar Bush
Vannevar Bush served as the director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II, where he oversaw numerous scientific and technological advancements, including the Manhattan Project.
Recently seen as Papa aka Dr. Martin Brenner in Stranger Things, Matthew Modine is set to appear as Bush.
15. David Dastmalchian - William L. Borden
A DC and Marvel alum, David Dastmalchian joins Christopher Nolan's cast as William L. Borden.
Borden accused J. Robert Oppenheimer of being a Soviet agent, resulting in security hearings and the revocation of Oppenheimer's security clearance.
16. Tom Conti - Albert Einstein
The most famous scientist of the 20th Century, Albert Einstein revolutionized humanity's understanding of the universe with his theory of relativity. Toni Conti plays the legendary physicist in Oppenheimer.
17. Michael Angarano - Robert Serber
Michael Angarano, best known as Will Stronghold in 2005's Sky High, plays Robert Serber, a physicist who worked closely with J. Robert Oppenheimer and contributed to the development of the atomic bomb.
18. Jack Quaid - Richard Feynman
From The Boys and My Adventures with Superman, Jack Quaid is Richard Feynman, who worked as a member of the theoretical division at Los Alamos Laboratory. This is where Oppenheimer served as the scientific director of the Manhattan Project.
19. Josh Peck - Kenneth Bainbridge
Kenneth Bainbridge served as the director of the Trinity Test, which was the first successful detonation of a nuclear weapon in history. He's played by Josh Peck, most famously known as Josh Nichols on Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh.
20. Olivia Thirlby - Lilli Hornig
Lilli Hornig was one of the few women scientists to work on the Manhattan Project, where she conducted research on plutonium.
Olivia Thirlby is known for her roles in films like Juno and Dredd.
21. Dane DeHaan - Kenneth Nichols
Kenneth Nichols served as the district engineer in charge of the Manhattan Project's construction and infrastructure. He's played by Dane DeHaan, known for his work in 2012's Chronicle and 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
22. Danny Deferrari - Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi played a pivotal role in the development of the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, leading to the creation of the atomic bomb. Danny Deffarrari is best known for his role in Shiva Baby.
23. Alden Ehrenreich - Senate Aide
Most notably known as Han Solo in 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story, Alden Ehrenreich is playing an unnamed Senate Aide.
24. Jefferson Hall - Haakon Chevalier
Haakon Chevalier was an American poet and translator; he's played by Jefferson Hall, who also appeared in Nolan's 2021 film Tenet.
25. Britt Kyle - Barbara Chevalier
Married to Haakon, Barbara Chevalier is played by Britt Kyle, best known for her role in 2016's Viral.
26. Jason Clarke - Roger Robb
Best known from Zero Dark Thirty, Jason Clarke plays Roger Robb, a circuit judge who served as special counsel to an Atomic Energy Commission hearing.
27. James D’Arcy - Patrick Blackett
James D'Arcy has worked with Nolan before in 2017's Dunkirk, this time he plays Patrick Blackett, a professor, and tutor of J. Robert Oppenheimer and Cambridge.
28. Tony Goldwyn - Gordon Gray
Gordon Gray was an American government official who chaired the Personnel Security Board that conducted the security clearance hearings against Oppenheimer.
Best known for 1990's Ghost, the ABC drama series Scandal, and the voice of Tarzan, Tony Goldwyn is playing Gray.
29. Devon Bostick - Seth Neddermeyer
Seth Neddermeyer was a physicist who played a key role in the research and development of implosion-type nuclear weapons. He's played by Devon Bostick, best known for his role as Rodrick in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid films.
30. Alex Wolff - Luis Walter Alvarez
Luis Walter Alvarez was a physicist who worked on the development of radar and conducting research related to nuclear weapons. Alex Wolff, best known for The Naked Brothers Band and Jumanji, takes on the role.
31. Scott Grimes - Counsel
Portraying an unnamed lawyer in the film, Scott Grimes is best known as Steve Smith in American Dad.
32. Josh Zuckerman - Giovanni Rossi Lomanitz
Josh Zuckerman (Sex Drive) plays Giovanni Rossi Lomanitz, a physicist and chemist involved in research on nuclear fusion, plasma physics, and the effects of radiation.
33. Matthias Schweighöfer - Werner Heisenberg
From Army of Thieves, Matthias Schweighöfer takes on the role of Werner Heisenberg, a German physicist who made groundbreaking contributions to the field of quantum mechanics.
34. Christopher Denham - Klaus Fuchs
Klaus Fuchs was a German-born physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project and later became a Soviet spy.
Christopher Denham is best known for supporting roles in Argo, Being the Ricardos, and Shutter Island, taking on the untrustworthy role.
35. David Rysdahl - Donald Hornig
Donald Hornig was a scientist that was part of the team at Los Alamos Laboratory, where he was involved in the testing and evaluation of nuclear weapons. David Rysdahl from Hulu's No Exit portrays the expert.
36. Guy Burnet - George Eltenton
George Eltenton was mentioned by Haakon Chevalier to Oppenheimer as a scientist who might share technical information with the Soviet Union.
Guy Burnet is best known for Ray Donovan, Counterpart, and The Affair.
37. Louise Lombard - Ruth Tolman
Ruth Toman was a psychiatrist who had an affair with Oppenheimer, she's played by Louise Lombard (The House of Elliot).
38. Harrison Gilbertson - Philip Morrison
Philip Morrison was a physicist who played a role in the Manhattan Project. His work in nuclear physics during this project laid the foundation for his later endeavors in science education and communication.
Harrison Gilbertson from Upgrade and In the Tall Grass is set to portray Morrison.
39. Emma Dumont - Jackie Oppenheimer
Emma Dumont, from Licorice Pizza, takes on the role of Jackie Oppenheimer, Frank's wife.
40. Trond Fausa Aurvåg - George Kistiakowsky
George Kistiakowsky was a Ukrainian-American chemist and explosives expert who served as the head of the Explosives Division, overseeing the design and development of explosive lenses used in nuclear weapons.
Trond Fausa Aurvåg, best known from 2006's The Bothersome Man, takes on the part.
41. Olli Haaskivi - Edward Condon
Edward Condon was a physicist known for his contributions to quantum mechanics and atomic physics. He worked on the development of radar systems during the Manhattan Project.
Olli Haaskivi from HBO's Winning Time and Disney+'s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be portraying Condon.
42. Gary Oldman - Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States. He was ultimately responsible for making the decision to use atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were developed under Oppenheimer's direction.
Gary Oldman, best known for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy and playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, takes on the powerful role.
43. John Gowans - Ward Evans
Best known from 1979's Stark Trek, John Gowans plays Ward Evans, a chemist and professor who was one of the three members of the commission that revoked J. Robert Oppenheimer's security clearance.
44. Kurt Koehler - Thomas A. Morgan
Thomas A. Morgan was on the Personnel Security Board that conducted the security clearance hearings against Oppenheimer. He's played by Kurt Koehler, who has briefly appeared on TV shows such as Agents of SHIELD, The Big Bang Theory, and Parks and Recreation.
45. Macon Blair - Lloyd Garrison
Lloyd Garrison was one of the lawyers to represent Oppenheimer. Macon Blair (Blue Ruin) plays the attorney.
46. Harry Groener - Senator Gale W. McGee
Senator Gale W. McGee was involved in national policy discussions and legislation that may have intersected with Oppenheimer's work or the broader field of nuclear energy.
Harry Groener from A Cure for Wellness will portray the US Senator.
47. Jack Cutmore-Scott - Lyall Johnson
A Christopher Nolan veteran, Jack Cutmore-Scott (Tenet and Dunkirk) plays Lyall Johnson, a participant in the World War II atomic bomb project who later assumed supervisory positions within the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
48. James Remar - Henry Stimson
Henry Stimson was the United States Secretary of War known for his role in the decision to use atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and advocating for the establishment of the United Nations.
James Remar from Dexter takes on this prominent role.
49. Gregory Jbara - Chairman Warren Magnuson
Chairman Warren Magnuson was a U.S. Senator. He's played by Gregory Jbara, best known for his time on Blue Bloods.
50. Tim DeKay - Senator John Pastore
Best known from the TV series White Collar, Tim DeKay plays John Pastore, an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Rhode Island from 1950 to 1976.
51. Ted King - Senator Bartlett
Ted King (The Bold and the Beautiful) is playing Edward Lewis "Bob" Bartlett, an influential Alaska politician who served as a U.S. Senator.
52. Steven Houska - Senator Scott
Senator Scott is likely Hugh Scott, a previous representative for Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives and eventually the U.S. Senate. Steven Houska recently appeared in an episode of General Hospital.
53. James Urbaniak - Kurt Gödel
Kurt Gödel, an influential mathematician, is known for his theorems that revolutionized mathematics and had far-reaching implications for philosophy and computer science.
He's played by James Urbaniak, who recently appeared in Steven Spielberg's The Fablemans.
54. Sadie Stratton - Mary Washburn
Sadie Stratton, as seen in Underground and West World, plays Mary Washburn, a member of the Communist Party who introduces Jean Tatlock to Oppenheimer.
55. Rory Keane - Hartland Snyder
Rory Keane (The Big Door Prize) plays Hartland Snyder, a physicist, who collaborated with Oppenheimer to calculate the gravitational collapse of a dust particle sphere.
56. Hap Lawrence - Lyndon B. Johnson
Hap Lawrence plays Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States who presented Oppenheimer with the AEC's Enrico Fermi Award.
Lawrence is known for his roles in NCIS, The Nude Bomb, and The Best of Times.
57. Máté Haumann - Leo Szilard
Máté Haumann plays physicist Leo Szilard, the first Hungarian physicist to realize that a nuclear chain reaction could be created.
The actor's past credits include Colette, The Witcher, and The Last Kingdom.
58. Michael Andrew Baker - Joe Volpe
Michael Andrew Baker plays Joe Volpe, the legal adviser to Gen. Leslie R. Groves who helped secure uranium and other materials used in the construction of the atomic bomb.
59. Jessica Erin Martin - Charlotte Serbe
Jessica Erin Martin portrays Charlotte Serbe, the head technical librarian at Los Alamos.
Martin is known for Splitting Image and Copy Cats.
60. Ronald Auguste - J. Ernest Wilkins
Ronald Auguste plays J. Ernest Wilkins, one of the scientists who worked with Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project.
Wilkins worked with Eugene Wigner in researching neutron absorption which led to their discovery of how to estimate the distribution of neutron energies within nuclear reactors.
61. Will Roberts - George C. Marshall
Will Roberts plays George C. Marshall, a United States general who served as a key figure in the country's atomic weapons program.
62. Pat Skipper - James Byrnes
Pat Skipper plays James Byrnes, President Harry Truman's foreign policy advisor who played a key role in the discussions on how to use the atomic bomb.
Skipper is best known for his roles in The X Files and Boston Legal.
63. Steve Coulter - James Conant
Steve Coulter plays James Conant, one of the dignitaries present during the Trinity nuclear test. He was also part of the Interim Committee that advised President Truman to use atomic bombs on Japan.
Coulter is best known for The Walking Dead, Yellowstone, and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Oppenheimer is now playing in theaters.