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Cillian Murphy has opened up about starving himself for his latest film role.

The actor stars in The Heart of the Sea which tells the story of the Essex whaling ship that inspired the novel Moby Dick.

The ship is destroyed by a whale leaving its crew shipwrecked for 90 days.

he Cork native explained that he had a new found respect for the people who survived the real ordeal.

“These people actually lived through this and we were complaining like moany actors saying, ‘oh, I’m so hungry’ – but these guys did it for real, so it does bring it home,” he told the Irish Examiner.

Co-star Benjamin Walker said the crash diets were a tribute to the sailors who lost their lives on the voyage.

“I’m never doing a crash diet again. It was absolutely excruciating, but it was least we could do to represent these guys who actually suffered – and many of whom didn’t survive,” he said.

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