Irish actor Cillian Murphy has been in dozens of films over the course of his 20-plus year career. After making his breakthrough in the 2002 horror flick 28 Days, he’s starred in hits like Inception, Red Eye, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and A Quiet Place Part II. He’s also played Tommy Shelby on the BBC crime drama series Peaky Blinders since 2013. For most of his time in the spotlight, the 45-year-old actor has been married to artist Yvonne McGuiness. Here’s the inside scoop on Cillian Murphy’s talented wife and the family he shares with her.
Cillian Murphy And Yvonne McGuinness Have Been Married Since 2004
According to a 2020 article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Cillian Murphy met Yvonne McGuiness back in 1996. At the time, Murphy was lead singer and guitarist for an Irish band called The Sons of Mr. Green Genes, and he met McGuiness at one of their shows. For a while, it looked like Murphy might become a full-time rock-and-roller, as the band was offered a five-album record deal in the mid-90s. However, they ultimately decided to turn the opportunity down because it would have forced Murphy’s brother, who was also in the band, to quit school. While disappointed at the time, Murphy says he realizes now that they made the right decision.
“There was nothing we could do,” he said in his interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. “It [the record deal] wasn’t big money or anything. It just so happened that there was a brief window where the kind of music we made was cool. I’d seen friends in bands sign deals and then get dropped really quickly. So, I was aware that while it seemed appealing on paper it could end badly.”
After dating for a number of years, Murphy and McGuinness married in 2004 and had two sons together—Malachy, born in 2005, and Aran, born in 2007. While they started out living in London, the family decided to move to Murphy’s native Ireland when the kids were young. “We wanted them to be Irish, I suppose,” the actor explained in a 2016 interview with the Guardian. “It’s amazing how quickly their accents have adapted. Even within a year of moving back, they are fading into this rakish west Brit kind of thing. Which I think, hopefully, will get them lots of girls when they’re 15.”
Murphy says the move also helped him better maintain his anonymity, which he believes is essential for his craft as an actor. In 2014, he told the Guardian, “Logically, the less people know about you, the more convincing you are playing someone else. It’s glaringly obvious to me. I get the bus, I get the tube, I go to the shop and get the milk and do normal things. I would hate it if that became impossible. As an actor, you’re supposed to be playing real people so it seems essential to live like a normal person.”
Both Murphy and McGuinness keep a very low profile when it comes to their personal lives—neither is on social media and there are very few public pictures of the couple together.
Yvonne Is An Accomplished Artist
Like her famous husband, McGuinness is a native of Ireland. She also has her own successful career as a multi-media artist. The 47-year-old’s work includes film installations, photographic collages, interactive performances, sculptures, and more. On her official website, McGuinness describes herself as “Irish artist working with place, time, and community.”
McGuinness’s art projects have been commissioned by a wide range of prestigious organizations, including the VISUAL Centre of Contemporary Art, the Roscommon Art Centre, the Fingal County Council Arts center, and more.