But who is McNelis? While spotlight-shy, the artist has been beside the Sons of Anarchy star for 11 years. As Hunnam’s success in Hollywood has grown, McNelis’ own career in Los Angeles also blossomed. Here are five things you should know about Hunnam’s lady love.
1. She’s a jewelry designer.
As the creative mind behind Maison de Morgana, McNelis handcrafts rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces from brass and white bronze.
According to the company’s website, McNelis “fell in love” with designing jewelry at age 20.
“She draws her inspiration from an eclectic variety of sources,” Maison de Morgana’s site says. “From the neo-gothic, macabre aesthetic of Coppola’s Dracula to the avant-garde couture of Riccardo Tisci and Alexander McQueen, from the wild romanticism of her early life in the Deep South to her namesake, the supernatural Arthurian sorceress Morgana La Fey, Morgana vast influences are reflected in this stunningly original debut collection.”
2. McNelis once owned a company with her sister.
Before starting Maison de Morgana, McNelis founded and co-owned a fine jewelry company with her sister.
Unfortunately, the launch coincided with the economic downturn in 2007, she told Taylor Magazine.
“We couldn’t get the company off the ground,” she told the magazine. “I learned a lot from that experience. It taught me that within every obstacle is a seed of opportunity and that seed became Maison de Morgana.”
3. She and Hunnam own donkeys – and 30 chickens.
Don’t expect to spot McNelis and Hunnam on the Los Angeles party circuit.
“My girlfriend and I just bought a ranch, so we are getting out of Hollywood completely,” Hunnam told the U.K.’s 7 Nights magazine in 2013, according to SFGate. “It’s in California. We’ve got 30 chickens and a couple of donkeys, a couple of ducks and we’ve got a big, organic garden. We are going to try to live a bit more sustainably.”
At the time, Hunnam said the couple planned to use the chickens for meat.
4. She was totally supportive of him playing Christian Grey.
Hunnam, who first accepted the role of Fifty Shades of Grey‘s main character before Jamie Dornan stepped in, told HollywoodLife.com in 2013 that McNelis is always “part of the decision-making process” when he selects a role.
“She loved the books, she read them and loved them and she was really excited at the potential of this opportunity for me,” Hunnam said, adding of McNelis, “She’s required to share parts of me that she wouldn’t really want to share so of course with the nature of this role that’s going to be times 10.”
5. She’s a travel nut.
“I love to travel,” McNelis told Taylor Magazine.
Favorite locales include London (“I love the rain”), where McNelis likes to walk around discovering the city. She said: “Every street feels like it has a story to tell because there is so much history there.”
She also has her sights set on exotic destinations, including India, where she said she’s “dying to go.”
“I know the mystical charm and cultural richness of India would be life changing,” she said.