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Inside Cillian Murphy's home life away from the 'terrifying' Hollywood spotlight

The Peaky Blinders and Oppenheimer actor is a doting father to two sons

Yvonne McGuinness and Cillian Murphy
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
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Cillian Murphy may be the man of the moment following his Golden Globe win over the weekend, but away from the spotlight, he is very much a devoted husband and father

Famed for starring in the likes of Peaky Blinders, Oppenheimer and Anthropoid, the 47-year-old – who tends to shy away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood - prefers to keep a low profile in Ireland, where he resides with his wife Yvonne McGuinness and their two sons; Malachy, 18, and Aran, 16. 

In a surprise move, Cillian was joined by his wife Yvonne and his lookalike son Aran at the Golden Globes where he picked up the Leading Actor award thanks to his role as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan's epic film. At the end of his acceptance speech, Cillian paid tribute to his loved ones, saying: "To my family, I'm the luckiest man. I love you. Thanks so much." 

Yvonne McGuinness, Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr.© Christopher Polk/Golden Globes 2
Cillian Murphy with his wife Yvonne and Robert Downey Jr. at the Golden Globes on Sunday

The Irish actor has been with Yvonne since 1996 when they met at one of his jazz funk band shows where he played guitar and sang for The Sons of Mr Green Genes. They tied the knot in 2004, and have since become parents to their two children. 

On being on tour with his band before pursuing an acting career, he previously told the Guardian: "That time, making Disco Pigs, was kind of the most important period of my life. 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." 

Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California © Christopher Polk/Golden Globes 2
The actor seen with his lookalike son Aran

He has also heaped praise on his wife, crediting her for dealing with his demanding work schedule, which can see him living away from home for months. "I have an amazing wife," the award-winner told GQ in 2019. "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."

Cillian continued: "I make sure that I try not to go from job to job to job, because that means you live in a bubble of set, hotel, set, hotel, plane, film festivals—which, to me, is not reality. So I just check out from that for six months a year." 

Although the family were once based in London, Cillian and Yvonne opted to leave and raise their sons along the coast in Ireland. In 2016, Cillian told The Guardian: "We wanted them to be Irish, I suppose...It's amazing how quickly their accents have adapted. 

WATCH: A look back at this year's Golden Globes highlights

"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." 

The couple sought to move away from "pressure of living in a massive city". Speaking about living near the sea, Cillian told Esquire: "It's quiet. I like it, where I am now in life. Wouldn't have been that exciting in my twenties." He added: "We're quite close, and it does make you feel instantly decompressed in some way. I think it's good for the old Happiness Index." 

cillian murphy as oppenheimer© Instagram/Universal
Cillian is winning much praise for his role in Oppenheimer

In 2022, the dad-of-two confessed to shying away from the "terrifying" Hollywood spotlight, telling the Guardian: "I love getting up and being someone else. What I find hard is getting up and being hilarious or entertaining as myself. "That was never in the job description and I'm not very good at it. But it's an unwritten part of the gig. You do the work and then you have to go out and perform as yourself. I find it terrifying, because I'm not a personality, you know?"

While there's a lot of Oscar buzz around Cillian's latest film role, he will no doubt continue being supported by his wife and sons. Last week, Cillian commented about his loved ones when he was honoured with the Desert Palm Achievement Award at the Palm Springs International Film Awards. 

"Two-thirds of them are sitting down there. We had to leave one of them at home doing exams," he explained. "But just thanks for putting up with me - putting up with the half me and the shadow me and the absent me, the remains of me when I'm doing a film like this or work in general. You're always there. I love it. So thanks, guys."

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