Friday 30 September 2016

James McAvoy 'growing close' to X-Men co-star Alexandra Shipp after split with wife

Independent.ie Newsdesk and Agencies

Published 15/05/2016 | 15:35

James McAvoy and Anne Marie Duff (right) and Alexandra Shipp (left)
James McAvoy and Anne Marie Duff (right) and Alexandra Shipp (left)
James McAvoy and Anne Marie Duff and (right) is Alexandra Shipp
British actor James McAvoy (R) and his wife Anne-Marie Duff pose for pictures as they arrive on the red carpet for the BAFTA British Academy Film Awards
Actress Alexandra Shipp attends the 22nd Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ELLE)
Actor Alexandra Shipp arrives at a screening of X-Men Apocalypse at a cinema in London, Britain, May 9, 2016
James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff attend the UK Premiere of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" at Odeon Leicester Square on May 12, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

James McAvoy has been linked to his X-Men co-star Alexandra Shipp, just days after announcing his split from wife Anne-Marie Duff.

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The couple, who wed in November 2006 and have a five-year-old son together, announced their break-up after nearly 10 years of marriage.

In a joint statement released on Friday, they said: "It is with tremendous sadness that we have come to the decision to divorce. We enter this next phase with continued friendship, love and respect for one another and the shared focus of caring for our son."

The couple met on the set of TV show Shameless, in which they played on-screen lovers Steve McBride and Fiona Gallagher. The 37-year-old star is is reportedly still living with Anne-Marie and the pair's relationship is amicable, the Daily Mail Online reports.

James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff attend the UK Premiere of
James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff attend the UK Premiere of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" at Odeon Leicester Square on May 12, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Reports have emerged the Scottish actor is growing close to his 24-year-old co-star Alexandra, who plays Storm in the new movie X-Men: Apocalypse.

The pair are believed to have struck up a friendship during filming and according to the Daily Mirror, are growing closer since his marriage ended.

"James has been quite open among the cast and crew that his marriage was over - and it seems he has struck up a friendship with Alex since then," the source said.

Read more: X-Men star James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff to divorce after 10 years

Actress Alexandra Shipp attends the 22nd Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ELLE)
Actress Alexandra Shipp attends the 22nd Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ELLE)

McAvoy and his estranged wife are famously private when it comes to discussing their relationship publicly.

He previously explained to Britain's The Daily Record newspaper they were not interested in becoming a media "target", adding, "We've been offered a hell of a lot of parts playing opposite each other in films and TV and we just turn them down," he explained. "If you do work together you put yourself up, you make yourself a target and you make your relationship a target and all of that. We're very keen not to do that."

But they did team up for 2009 film The Last Station, which also featured Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer.

James' career has changed tremendously within the past decade, as he continues to land roles in Hollywood blockbusters like the X-Men movies, Wanted, opposite Angelina Jolie, and last year's Victor Frankenstein, and in an interview with Contactmusic.com, he confessed his growing international stardom had begun to take a toll on his family life.

Anne-Marie Duff and James McAvoy attend the Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Old Vic Theatre on November 22, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Anne-Marie Duff and James McAvoy attend the Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Old Vic Theatre on November 22, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

"It's always difficult to go away (and film a movie) as a family person," he shared. "Paps don't really bother me. I get stopped but people are nice. I don't mind that. I've never minded that. It's just the separation of family life, relationship and child."

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