Despite her unquestionable brilliance in front of the camera and on stage, which has led to her acquiring a long list of acting credits in film, television, theatre, and radio, Anne-Marie Duff has not gained the same level of popularity as Jude Law, Kiera Knightley, and Kate Winslet who are some of the most high-profile English actors and actresses in the world today. This is because she has not been able to become a household name in the United States of America as the others have managed thanks to them featuring in blockbuster Hollywood movies and appearing in notable Broadway theatre productions.
But as personal relationships have largely contributed to the fame and rise in prominence of so many others in the entertainment business, the multiple BAFTA award-nominated actress is known to those that do not follow her impressive body of work as the ex-wife of Scottish actor, James McAvoy. Duff and the actor, who is famous for playing the role of a young Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men superhero film series, were married for about eleven years before they decided to part ways.
How She Met James McAvoy
Anne-Marie Duff began her acting career in the mid-1990s. In 2000, she earned herself a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for her role in the play Collected Stories. Despite this, it was not until she appeared in the Channel 4 television program Shameless in 2004 as Fiona Gallagher before she was able to gain mainstream attention.
As things would pan out, it was through her appearance in the British black comedy series that she would meet her future husband who played the role of Steve McBride, her character’s love interest. The two would go on to start a relationship as both their careers seemed to take off in the following years. McAvoy starred in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and in the Academy Award-winning The Last King of Scotland (2006) while Duff played Queen Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen (2006) and appeared alongside Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal (2006).
Their Life As Married Couples
The pair later decided to take their relationship to the next level by exchanging marital vows. They tied the knot on the 11th of November 2006. Four years after becoming man and wife, the couple welcomed a son named Brendan in 2010.
In this same year, Anne-Marie Duff got to attend a flurry of award shows as she received multiple nominations, including a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance as Julia Stanley, the mother of singer John Lennon in Nowhere Boy (2009). She ended up taking home three awards from a total of seven nominations.
Not much was subsequently heard from the Duff and McAvoy as they maintained a low profile concentrating on their careers and raising their child. The couple then actively kept their relationship out of the spotlight and away from gossip magazines. This made it quite a surprise when they jointly announced in May 2016 that they were going their separate ways without shining light as to the possible reason for their divorce.
Anne-Marie Duff’s Post-Divorce Life
Following their divorce, Anne-Marie Duff and her ex-husband announced that they would share a home in North London in order to minimize disruption to their son’s life. Both parties, who have a reputation of not speaking about each other or their personal lives in public, have continued to carry on with their lives, concentrating on their individual careers.
While it is not clear if Anne-Marie Duff has entered into another relationship, it is reported that James has since dated and married another woman, Lisa Liberati, privately.
Some of the productions that the actress has appeared in following her divorce include the film On Chesil Beach (2017). For television, she has served as the narrator of Hospital (2017) and had roles in Watership Down (2018) and His Dark Materials (2019) which also featured her ex-husband.
On the theatre front, Anne-Marie Duff has appeared in the Royal National Theatre’s production of Common, and the Wyndham’s Theatre’s production of Heisenberg, both in 2017. Other roles include the Royal National Theatre’s production of Macbeth in 2018 and the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Sweet Charity in 2019.