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How Cillian Murphy & His Wife Force Themselves To Live Away From The Hollywood Spotlight

The couple have been married for 19 years.
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The release of Oppenheimer has put the spotlight back onto the very successful, and very private, Cillian Murphy.

The 47-year-old Irish actor started acting in 1997 but rose to fame in 2002, after starring in the British post-apocalyptic horror film, 28 Days Later. Murphy’s greatest success, however, was still to come. In 2013, Murphy took on the character of Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders: a role which not only catapulted him into the international spotlight but also turned him into a sex symbol. 

Despite his extraordinary success, fanatical fanbase and sex symbol status, Murphy’s personal life couldn’t be more ordinary—and that’s the way he likes it. Murphy lives with his wife, Yvonne McGuinness, and their two teenage boys, Malachy and Aran in Dublin. 

Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuiness
The couple were spotted in New York City in 2016. (Credit: Getty)

In 2005, he famously told People“I don’t need to live in Los Angeles. I’d be tremendously far away from my family—I’d never see them.” 

Murphy’s quiet Dublin life also means that the world rarely hears about his personal, and family, life.

So, if you’re one of the many wondering who exactly Murphy’s wife and children are, we have all of the answers you need, below. 

Who Is Cillian Murphy’s Wife, Yvonne McGuinness?

Yvonne McGuinness
Yvonne McGuinness is an Irish artist. (Credit:

Yvonne McGuinness is an Irish artist. She holds a master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in London and makes installations that incorporate “film, performance, sculptural and textile elements, sound and writing”, according to her website

When Murphy travels for work, McGuinness also takes on the primary caretaker role for the couple’s two children, which is something Murphy often praises her for. 

“That work-life balance thing is hard. I have an amazing wife and I couldn’t do this without her and her understanding. But it is a struggle…I think it is for any dad whose work takes him away, which it generally does, and which consumes him, which my work does,” Murphy told GQ in 2019. 

The actor has also acknowledged his wife’s ability to keep him grounded amidst the fame his work brings. 

“The fame thing was never a goal. I just want to improve,” Murphy told People“If I can leave one film behind that’s something that affects somebody, that’s absolutely fine…it’s very important to have somebody like that [McGuinness]. My life hasn’t changed in any way, really. I still have the same friends, and we go to the same places.”

How Long Have Cillian Murphy And Yvonne McGuinness Been Together For? 

Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy in 2003. (Credit: Getty)

Murphy and McGuinness met long before he was famous, at one of his band’s rock concert gigs in 1996. While Murphy has never revealed the exact details of their early courtship, he has told press that the couple began dating around the same time he worked on Disco Pigs, a play Murphy starred in in the late 1990s. 

“That time, making Disco Pigs, was kind of the most important period of my life,” Murphy told The Guardian in 2016. “The people I met there remain my closest friends … They shaped me in terms of my tastes, in terms of what I wanted to do with my life. And it was around the same time I met my wife. She came on tour with us. It was so exciting, 20 years ago or whatever it was—we were all just kids, trying to find our way—but such a special, special time.”

The couple got married in 2004 and celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary in 2023. 

Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy in 2017. (Credit: Getty)

Do Cillian Murphy And Yvonne McGuinness Have Children? 

Murphy and McGuinness have two sons. Their eldest son, Malachy, was born in 2005, and their youngest, Aran, was born two years later in 2007. Murphy opened up about his wife’s first pregnancy during an interview with The Guardian, when he revealed it was conveniently timed with a film he was shooting near his parent’s home in Cork. 

“I was living at home with my folks, my wife was pregnant with our son, and we were running around the hills of west Cork shooting up Black and Tans. Fantastic!” Murphy told the outlet. 

When their children were young, the couple raised them in London but made the decision to go back to Ireland in 2015.

“I loved living in London in my 20s and 30s, but after a while you kind of go, ‘Right, is this it? Is this it for the rest of my days? Or is there some other possibility?'” he told The Guardian.

“We wanted them to be Irish, I suppose,” he continued. “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.”

When it comes to Murphy’s work, his sons are not overly impressed, which is the way Murphy would like to keep it. 

“[My kids] are suitably underwhelmed by my work. I’m trying to keep them in that state because it’s such a silly industry,” Murphy told the Evening Standard in 2017. 

The actor’s sons also reportedly go without mobile phones or WIFI at home as their famous father isn’t a fan, according to the Irish Mirror.

While we’re impressed by the Murphy’s commitment to the keeping his children grounded, we’re still hoping we’ll get a glimpse of the entire family someday soon. 

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