Who Is Cillian Murphy's Wife? All About Yvonne McGuinness

Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuinness have been married since 2004

Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuinness are seen on August 5, 2016 in New York City
Photo: Raymond Hall/GC Images

Despite his profession, Cillian Murphy and his wife Yvonne McGuinness have a decidedly low-key life.

Murphy has appeared in worldwide hit films like Inception and Batman Begins, and has played Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders for six seasons. Meanwhile, McGuinness is a visual artist who creates innovative, situational art installations. Both natives of Ireland, the couple lived in London for years, but now reside in Dublin with their teenage sons — far away from the glamour of Hollywood.

"I don't need to live in Los Angeles," Murphy told PEOPLE in 2005. "I'd be tremendously far away from my family — I'd never see them."

But who is Cillian Murphy's longtime love, Yvonne McGuinness? Read on to learn about her work as an artist and her life out of the spotlight with Murphy.

She's an accomplished artist

Originally from Kilkenny, Ireland, McGuinness is a classically trained visual artist who holds a master's degree from the Royal College of Art in London.

"Her work encompasses film, performance, sculptural and textile elements, sound and writing," reads McGuinness' website, explaining that the artist stages "live, public interventions and performances."

She met Murphy before he was famous

Cillian Murphy
Lee Celano/WireImage

Murphy's first acting role in the late 1990s turned into his big break. He was cast in a local production in Cork, Ireland of a new play called Disco Pigs by a then-unknown playwright. It became such a smash that it toured in Dublin and London, and then all over the world for 18 months. It was during this time that Murphy and McGuinness first met, and she then accompanied the actor on much of the tour.

"That time, making Disco Pigs, was kind of the most important period of my life," he 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."

She and Murphy got married in 2004 and two share two kids

McGuinness and Murphy tied the knot in 2004 and later welcomed two sons together: Malachy, born in 2005, and Aran, born in 2007.

While McGuinness was pregnant with Malachy, Murphy was shooting the 2006 war drama The Wind that Shakes the Barley. The actor later told the The Guardian that filming the movie was one of his favorite acting experiences, in part because he was able to be close to McGuinness.

"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!" he described.

That same summer, Batman Begins premiered in theaters and catapulted Murphy's career to new levels.

They lived in London for decades, but now live in Dublin

"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?' " Murphy told The Guardian.

He and McGuinness decided to move the family to Dublin in 2015 because they wanted their sons to be closer to their grandparents. "We wanted them to be Irish, I suppose," he said. "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."

They value their privacy

Though McGuinness has Instagram and Twitter accounts, they're both private, and Murphy isn't on social media at all. The couple is so closed-lipped about their family life that, though Murphy often does interviews for his blockbuster movies, he rarely discusses his wife or children publicly.

They're both vegetarians

"I was vegetarian for a long time then I relapsed and now I've relapsed back to vegetarianism," Murphy told The Guardian. "My wife is, too."

When Murphy was filming Peaky Blinders, McGuinness stayed home with their kids

Cillian Murphy during a Q&A at the Premiere of BBC Two's drama "Peaky Blinders" episode one, series three at BFI Southbank on May 3, 2016 in London, England
Anthony Harvey/Getty

The couple lives in Dublin, but Peaky Blinders filmed in Liverpool, England. During production, McGuinness stayed in Dublin with their children while Murphy moved into a rented apartment in Liverpool and lived "zero" life, as he told The Guardian.

"It's cancelled life," he explained. "You go home to your tiny apartment at the end of the day and you feed yourself for sustenance and you learn the lines for the next day and you try to get as much sleep as you possibly can. Which isn't much. And then you get up and do it again."

Murphy also described the period of decompression he went through when filming wrapped each season and he returned home. "It takes time. My wife can see it happening. 'OK. Tommy's gradually leaving. I'm getting Cillian back,' " he said.

Murphy credits McGuinness with keeping him grounded

Despite Murphy's high-profile career, the couple tends to stay out of the limelight. "The fame thing was never a goal. I just want to improve," Murphy previously told PEOPLE. "If I can leave one film behind that's something that affects somebody, that's absolutely fine."

He credits his wife with keeping him grounded. "It's very important to have somebody like that," he said. "My life hasn't changed in any way, really. I still have the same friends and we go to the same places."

As Murphy told The Guardian in 2016, it took him "a long time" to figure out who he was, noting that he sees a level of confidence in his and McGuinness' sons that he did not experience at their age.

"I had bravado. But, deep down … I don't know, they seem better adjusted than I was. More sure of themselves. I'm happy about that. For me, it was something that took a long time to figure out: that it's all right to be you, that it's all right to be an individual," he said.

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