Phoebe Waller-Bridge has become a true mainstream comedy darling this awards season. She’s not exactly new to the TV writing scene — Waller-Bridge has been writing and producing for Killing Eve since 2018, and she created the six-part series Crashing before that — but it was Season 2 of her hit show Fleabag that really trained the world’s attention on her (and earned her three Emmys, one Golden Globe, and numerous other awards). Waller-Bridge’s professional accomplishments are undeniable, but her personal life is a little more mysterious. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is dating Martin McDonagh, but the couple keeps their relationship mostly out of the public eye.
Waller-Bridge has been linked to McDonagh, an Irish-British playwright and director, for about two years now. The Evening Standard first reported seeing the two together in October 2017, at a screening for McDonagh’s film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. On Dec. 30, 2017, People reported that Waller-Bridge and her then-husband Conor Woodman were splitting up after three years of marriage. Then, in January 2018, Waller-Bridge and McDonagh reportedly sat together at the Golden Globes, where he won awards for Best Screenplay and Best Drama. They’ve since attended the 2019 Oscars together, as well as the 2019 Emmys, where Waller-Bridge won big for Fleabag. Despite the private nature of their relationship, fans did get to see a cute moment at the Emmys when Waller-Bridge and McDonagh kissed as her name was called for an award.
McDonagh is best known for his work on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, as well as writing and directing 2012’s Seven Psychopaths and writing 2008’s In Bruges. Waller-Bridge told The Guardian in September 2018 that she saw McDonagh’s play “The Pillowman” years before they became a couple. “It was the first play I saw that made me think theatre can be really exciting,” she remembered. “Sometimes you need to see something like that – a piece of work that wakes you up, that makes you go, ‘Yes, of course that can be done’ and gives your imagination permission to go 17 million other places. I felt like that about his work.”
When asked about her happiness in the relationship, though, Waller-Bridge told The Guardian, “I’m not going to talk about that.” She also declined to talk about McDonagh in a November 2019 interview with Vogue, saying simply, “I’m much braver in my writing life.” In April 2019, Waller-Bride told The Telegraph that she does show McDonagh her writing “a little bit, not a huge amount,” but that she prefers to work through her writing struggles before coming home. "I like to talk everything out at work so when I get home I can just chill and have dinner — although, to be honest, I talk things out there too," she explained.
It’s unclear if Waller-Bridge and McDonagh will attend the 2020 Oscars together on Feb. 9, as they did last year. But this power couple is definitely one to watch. One can only imagine that two smart writers would easily become each other’s muse — which could make for some seriously brilliant new work.