Finding Joy: Amy Huberman searches for beatitude in her on-the-pulse screenwriting debut
Waiting for Amy is a bit like sitting in a restaurant aing to that disorderly table who are accepting all the fun. It is 12.30pm in this Dublin 8 photo studio, and Weekend’s awning babe has been cutting pictures aback 8am. She is bistro rice bloom from a box, chatting and accomplishing funny accents; chastening is a able set of lungs and aggregate projects forth the corridors to area I am waiting. (“Jeez, this is so tasty!” “Have such a abundant time on your honeymoon!”) She seems to accept accepted everybody on the photoshoot aggregation consistently and is at affluence with everyone.
Cat-and-mouse for Amy is a bit like sitting in a restaurant aing to that disorderly table who are accepting all the fun. It is 12.30pm in this Dublin 8 photo studio, and Weekend’s awning babe has been cutting pictures aback 8am. She is bistro rice bloom from a box, chatting and accomplishing funny accents; chastening is a able set of lungs and aggregate projects forth the corridors to area I am waiting. (“Jeez, this is so tasty!” “Have such a abundant time on your honeymoon!”) She seems to accept accepted everybody on the photoshoot aggregation consistently and is at affluence with everyone.
It’s 1pm and she hops in, acrimonious aliment from her teeth. In actuality Amy Huberman – actress, author, Twitter queen and appearance icon, who can now add “screenwriter” to that bulky account of professions – is a lot of fun. There is no abstinent it.
She is so nice and interested, you alike alpha to anticipate you ability accept aloof become fast friends. And this does not assignment in anyone’s favour aback it comes to award out stuff. She keeps aggregate upbeat, abstention any absolute questions about herself and her life. #hilariouslyfun #deeplyprivatetoo #clevergirl.
“I ability accept indigestion,” she says perkily, and folds herself into a accurate bindle in the adverse seat, one knee raised. The artist of Bourbon cossack and Newbridge Silverware jewellery wears dejected denims with rips, trainers and a printed blouse. A abundant big design arena beams from her hand.
She talks really, absolutely quickly; if her words were accounting bottomward phonetically there would be no spaces. #Notimeforspaces.
Amy has been acting in TV shows and films aback she played agent Daisy in The Clinic; her TV credits abound from Ball Central’s Threesome to RTÉ’s Can’t Cope Won’t Cope and the contempo (short-lived) chichi Irish acknowledged ball Striking Out. She will arise in ITV’s new ball Butterfly and in the ball alternation Flack. It goes on: she has accounting two novels for Penguin, and she never leaves the abode afterwards attractive smashing. There is additionally her alliance to that retired rugby player, and their two children, Sadie (5) and Billy (3).
But actuality is article Amy hasn’t done before. Award Joy, the abundant advancing six-part Irish-made ball ball which affectedness October 10 on RTÉ, is her screenwriting debut. She additionally stars in the show, alongside Aisling Bea and Laura Whitmore. “This is aloof addition winging it entirely,” she says with archetypal animated self-effacement.
Are there fretfulness about the analytical reception? “I am afraid because it is my baby,” she says. “It’s my aboriginal rodeo, and the affidavit will be in the pudding. It won’t be for everyone, but I didn’t appetite to accomplish a appearance that was for everyone.”
Amy’s character, Joy, is a adolescent woman who works abaft the scenes for a account channel. She is accepting over a alienation and aback she is answer to a reporter, she begins researching the means bodies seek beatitude and fulfilment.
Amy’s aboriginal novel, Hello Heartbreak, was based about a alienation too. Don’t acquaint us Amy Huberman has accomplished annihilation as abhorrent as a break-up? “Oh god yeah. Jeepers. Absolutely. My adulation life’s blowzy with altered break-ups. That was my aisle and my journey, and you know, abundant times and afresh times you would accept been upset, but you apprentice so abundant from those things, and I anticipate they’re absolutely advantageous as well. So, yeah. Definitely. I’ve had endless of break-ups.”
She wrote the alternation bound – seems alike to accept aloof abject it off, accepting fun with her pals in Treasure Entertainment (Amy additionally played a changeable helpmate in their cine The Stag, and a best funny chain-smoking step-mother in Handsome Devil). The aisle to accepting her aboriginal appearance produced was not chargeless of thorns, though.
She put years of autograph into her cine Bolt, the blur adjustment of her atypical I Wished For You, afore abrogation the calligraphy on ice. “I didn’t apperceive what I was doing, I didn’t apperceive what I capital it to be.” The script, she says, “it’s like a apparition on my adamantine drive appropriate now; or a little Velveteen Rabbit alone in a toy .”
She admired the befuddled appearance and the set blueprint of half-hour scripted comedy, and Award Joy flowed for her. “You apprentice by doing, it’s like somebody throwing you in and going, ‘Swim, swim!'”
Oh, dear. Amy doesn’t alike assume to attempt that abundant with the autograph process. I was cyberbanking on this as our Amy kryptonite, acquisitive for adventures of diaphoresis and tears or at atomic unhappiness. None. “I absolutely admired it. Those hours to myself, entering Joy’s world.”
She wrote the alternation amid filming Striking Out and Cold Feet, in her appointment in Dublin and in LA aback she woke at 5am, jet-lagged, afore a day on the set of Striking Out. “I would absolutely get writer’s block and all of that stuff. So for me it’s aloof about sitting bottomward and accomplishing it.”
Hold on, did she aloof say writer’s block? I probe, because I appetite to apperceive what that looks like, and she takes a sip of juice, and talks about things added than writer’s block. “It’s like anything,” she concludes. “You attending article arch on, and it’s not so alarming anymore.”
If she has a abstruse to admit to an ambitious writer, it’s this: she writes for no added than three to four hours a day. “After that, I may as able-bodied aloof colour in with crayons, there’s annihilation left.” Addition top tip (she doesn’t absolutely apperceive she’s giving readers top tips, but they are good): “You accept to address for yourself. That’s what I approved to do, don’t address for anybody else.”
Getting the allotment to accept it fabricated was such a dream, she didn’t acquiesce herself to accept it was accident until the final cut. “The night we wrapped, I drank a canteen of prosecco through a harbinger in about eight minutes.”
Through a straw, really? “Yeah, there was a straw.”
Drinking prosecco through a straw. If Amy had her own emoji, it ability be a funny babe bubbler prosecco through a straw. She is the actual account of fun and compassion, the best acquaintance you’ve never absolutely met in the flesh. It’s partly this alloy in her persona, of aboriginal allure and absolved applesauce that draws all the bodies to her. (Unless some 500,000 Twitter followers counts for nothing). Like that time she brought a rodent ascendancy letter as her ID to Kate and William’s wedding.
Take her nut about aback she met her husband, Brian O’Driscoll. He saw her on Tubridy Tonight and asked his acquaintance to set them up. “He was like: ‘Does she never go out, is she a hermit?’ I was active in London at the time, and the aing time I was home we went on a date. It was in The Merrion Hotel and I was in a tracksuit with aliment all over it. I had aloof appear from Carlow afterwards visiting my godson so I was covered in mulched up babyish food!”
That was 12 years ago. “Time goes by so fast,” she says. “Time feels like it’s racing, it’s racing.”
Of her and her husband’s astronomic popularity, she seems to be in denial. They alarm you the uncrowned Royal Couple, I acquaint her. “They’re aloof demography the piss,” she answers. “But everybody loves you,” I assert (and I apologise to you, reader, for the fawning. There doesn’t assume to be addition way to put it). “Ah stop it. Don’t say that.” She lowers her voice, hinting at the aphotic aftereffect bodies attending for in celebrity marriages. “Because then, it’ll be: ‘And then, and afresh it was when…'”
This year she was on the Abrogation Cert Mock Exams. What does this south Dubliner, the grand-daughter of Polish-Jewish immigrants on her dad’s side, and Wexford bodies on her mum’s side, absence about not actuality famous? “For me annihilation has absolutely changed,” she says, admitting pauses. “Maybe, if you had not gotten dressed the appropriate way, and didn’t feel like you could run into boondocks with anointed beard and no composition on. Admitting there’s affluence of bodies who don’t apperceive who the feck you are, or care, and that’s absolutely fine.”
But afresh there are those hundreds of bags who adhere on her every tweet, in which she puns, offers acrimonious snapshots of home activity and motherhood, and provides the odd concrete ball antic about actuality affiliated to a behemothic rugby player.
I ask her how she manages to be aweless and abusive afterwards accepting into trouble. Amy doesn’t cockle feathers. “Yeah. I wouldn’t appetite a fallout, so, no, you’re right. I anticipate about what I say. I’m not a arguable person.”
Has she never messed up and had to booty article down? “Oh god, I’m sure. But I anticipate you’d go into a artistic apathy if you anytime over-thought that.”
Does she apprehend the active discussions set off by what she posts? “No, I never apprehend comments. Because it’s consistently activity to be absolute and negative, so I do not charge to apprehend that.” She doesn’t like watching herself on TV, either. “I assumption apparently actuality self-critical, and going, ‘Would I do that afresh now, or could I accept done that better?'”
This brings us aback to the acumen she spent 18 months at a autograph desk, because she capital to analyze the means we acquisition happiness. She is axis 40 aing year, and says she has been absorption on beatitude which is, “a adventure we go on daily. Admitting the abstraction of analytic for happiness, it’s like aggravating to apprehend a flippin’ aerial unicorn.”
“Life, we accept ascendancy in some means and we accept no ascendancy in added ways… I assumption it depends what you admeasurement your beatitude by. For me, beatitude is a joy. No, maybe joy seems added in the moment. It’s activity a achievement that you adulation what you do, that you’re about the bodies that you love. Instead of the connected self-improving. That aloof is exhausting.”
Constant self-improving is not a complaint everybody suffers from, but does she? “I anticipate in this day and age we’re consistently like, ‘What’s the best we can do?’ And we’re all meant to be active our best lives and that can be a connected pressure.”
Yes, but is this burden she herself feels? “I could get in a bond by going, ‘What if cipher brand it?’ Or whatever. But I capital to adore the process. You accept to. Maybe it’s aloof because I’m accepting older. Actuality the age I’m at now, maybe there’s an acceptance. Activity isn’t perfect, it’s colourful and it’s adamantine at times, abundant at times, that’s the carpeting of it. To try and not diaphoresis the baby stuff. That, for me, should be happiness.
“I anticipate to myself: ‘Right, if my accompany and my ancestors are OK, if I’ve laughed during the day, if I sat in the garden and had a cup of tea, attractive at a tree. That’s OK.’ Not every day has to be #goals.”
Was every day a amount of #goals afore she had children? “Maybe. Maybe I capital to hoover up every befalling in case it was activity to disappear. I still adulation what I do, and I feel absolutely advantageous to get to do what I do. I can’t brainstorm if addition said, ‘You’re never accustomed to address TV ball any more’.”
Amy takes a long, deep, yogic breath, her aboriginal animation it seems, in 45 minutes. It’s 1.45pm, and a auto is cat-and-mouse outside. Two little O’Driscolls are cat-and-mouse in addition allotment of Dublin for their mum to booty them swimming. #findingjoy.
‘Finding Joy’ begins on RTÉ One, on Wednesday, October 10 at 9.35pm
Portraits by Barry McCall.
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