Actor Cillian Murphy stars this weekend in Dunkirk, the newest film by director Christopher Nolan. It’s the third movie featuring the 41-year-old actor to be released this year after Free Fire and The Party.
Born in Douglas, County Cork, Ireland in 1976, Murphy has a background in music, only getting into acting later in his life after failing to make it as a rock star. It was through music that he met his wife of 13 years, with whom he has four children.
Here’s what you need to know about Yvonne McGuinness, the wife of Cillian Murphy.
1. She Is an Irish Artist
Yvonne McGuinness is an artist who works in a variety of mediums, including video installations and live performances that can be found in art galleries in Ireland. On her website, she describes herself as working with “performance, video, photography, sewing, writing, sculpture and context specific installations.”
The most recent work that McGuinness has posted on her website is called The Well, which plays out over three screens. It involves a man, called the Guardian of the Well, sweeping leaves outside of a well as a dancer, Liv O’Donoghue, performs.
“Commissioned by Clonmel Junction Festival, The Well is a video and sound installation presented in a gorgeous, decommissioned 19th century church,” a review of The Well by Eamonn Maxwell reads. “The film flickers between three screens – sometimes just a single screen, then two and occasionally all three – so the viewer is kept entranced. Underpinning the film is a haunting soundtrack, scored by the artist and Ellen King, full of atmospheric passage.”
Another work of McGuinness’ is called “You Can’t Feel What You Feel,” which she describes as “[i]nvestigating themes of empathy, sensation and connection to place.”
According to her website, McGuinness has an MA from the Royal College of Art, London
2. She Met Murphy Backstage at One of His Band’s Shows
Before Cillian Murphy got into acting, he played in a band called Sons of Mr. Greengenes with his brother. Murphy sang and played guitar.
Sons of Mr. Greengenes actually became fairly popular locally to the point that they were offered a five-album record deal by Acid Jazz Records. However, Murphy and his brother decided not to take the offer, a decision he has since said he is happy about.
“We were offered a record deal by a record company in London but it wasn’t the right time and I’m very glad in retrospect that we didn’t sign because you kind of sign away your life to a label and the whole of your music,” Murphy said in an interview with the Evening Herald.
However, although he did not end up becoming a rock star like he had hoped, his time as a musician did pay off in one major way: he met his wife backstage at one of the shows, according to Maxim.
3. She & Murphy Married in 2004
Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuinness have now been married for 13 years.
Their wedding taking place at a vineyard in Provence, France in 2004, eight years after they met at Murphy’s rock show, according to The Independent.
This was a year before Murphy would star in one of the biggest movies of his career and his first collaboration with Christopher Nolan: Batman Begins, in which he played The Scarecrow. However, this was after Murphy had already lead the popular zombie film 28 Days Later.
4. She & Murphy Are Both Private People
Both Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuinness are rather private and like to keep their personal life to themselves.
Cillian Murphy, too, is famously private. He has no social media accounts, and he did not appear on any late night TV shows until a 2010 appearance on The Late Late Show. he was a guest on Recently, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, but the segment ended up being somewhat awkward as Murphy gave one-word answers to Colbert’s questions.
“I’m not a big personality like Colin [Firth],” Murphy said in a 2007 interview with Hot Press. “But to be honest that suits me a lot better. I’m just not good at the extra-curricular activities. I’m not a red carpet guy. I get a thrill from being in movies like Batman Begins…I’m less interested in the big premieres and celebrity bashes. To be honest I find them a challenge.”
5. She & Murphy Have Two Children
Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuinness have two boys, Malachy and Aran.
Murphy and McGuinness’ sons are currently in primary school, according to The Guardian, and recently, they moved to Ireland from London so that the kids could be around their grandparents.
“We wanted them to be Irish, I suppose,” Murphy added in his 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 did say, however, that he was reluctant to move back to Ireland at first but was convinced by his wife.
He also said in a separate interview that he would be getting a dog for the kids.
“We promised [the kids] a dog, so that was fine,” Murphy said, according to The Independent. “I am the only one that walks it, of course.”