Emilio Estevez Is Engaged

The actor and Bobby director will wed writer Sonja Magdevski

Emilio Estevez is engaged to writer Sonja Magdevski, the actor and director has confirmed to PEOPLE.

Estevez, at the Venice Film Festival for the premiere of Bobby, his film about Robert Kennedy’s assassination, tells PEOPLE the couple had been dating for a year and a half before getting engaged over Christmas.

When are they getting married? “Don’t know yet. Gotta get through this,” he said, referring to the film, which was six years in the making. Estevez, 44, wrote, directed and co-stars in the movie along with Lindsay Lohan, Demi Moore, Christian Slater, Anthony Hopkins and his father, Martin Sheen.

Magdevski, who is with Estevez in Venice, has one line in the film.

“My sister was supposed to do the part but she had a conflict with The West Wing,” Estevez tells PEOPLE. “So I said to Sonja, ‘Get in wardrobe. Get in makeup!’ ”

Sheen is not in Venice with his son because he recently enrolled in college in Ireland. “He wanted to be here but he just started,” Estevez said. “He’s only been doing it a couple of days. I have to call him to tell him how it’s going here.”

Estevez was married to Paula Abdul from 1992-1994. Previously, he dated model Carey Salley, with whom he has two children: Taylor, 22, and Paloma, 20. He was also briefly engaged to his St. Elmo’s Fire costar Moore, whom he says he cast in the film “because I thought she was perfect for the part.” (Moore plays an alcoholic, though she “is not an alcoholic,” Estevez notes.)

Magdevski – a former Fulbright scholar – has written about wine for Malibu magazine. Besides acting, directing and writing, Estevez is a vintner – he grows his own grapes and produces his own wine, “Casa Dumetz.”

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