Actor Cillian Murphy said that the phenomenon “Barbenheimer” of last summer was “a great time for cinema”.

The viral trend saw thousands of fans book tickets to see ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ movies on the same day.

It came about after a series of memes, which focused on the fact that two films that were so different were released on the same day.

The Irish actor, who played American physicist Robert Oppenheimer in the film Oppenheimer, stressed the trend was “not some brilliantly designed marketing strategy”, but spontaneous.

Asked by the BBC’s culture and media editor Katie Razall whether the two films helped each other at the box office, Cillian Murphy said: “Yes, they did. And it was a great moment for cinema.”

“I think they’re both great movies and they couldn’t be more different. And I think that was great, it wasn’t some amazing marketing strategy from the studio,” he noted.

“It was people, you know, it was the internet and people that I created this ‘Barbenheimer’ thing and, yeah, it was a great moment for cinema.”

The movie “Barbie” has earned $1.44 billion at the box office worldwide and the film “Oppenheimer” has grossed $956 million.

Both films are nominated for Best Picture Oscars on March 10, but Murphy explained that he tries not to let the awards affect his performances.

“I know everyone says this, but you never make a movie thinking about the awards,” he said. “We don’t do that. It’s impossible to make a film this way,” he said.

“But when a film connects with audiences like this one, it does in a way that none of us could have predicted… it’s extremely flattering and it’s great to see that,” he said.