Thursday 23 November 2017

Amy Huberman: I hated being called a Wag when Brian was playing for Ireland

Amy Huberman in Tatler magazine shoot
Amy Huberman in Tatler magazine shoot
Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman
Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman

Whatever you do, don’t call Amy Huberman a ‘Wag’.

Brian O’Driscoll’s wife had to put up with the term for years when she cheered on her hubby from the side-lines, but she says the acronym used to refer to wives and girlfriends of high-profile sportspeople is “derogatory”.

“I hated being labelled a Wag when Brian was playing,” she said.

“People would say: ‘Why do you care? It means you’re his wife.’ But it doesn’t.


“Yes, you can break down every word, but essentially it is derogatory and it’s definitely not nice.

“The word Wag is about putting women in their place.

“I just think it’s a tacky word and it’s lazy labelling. Like we can’t function unless we compartmentalise women into categories.

“Brian doesn’t like it either,” she added.

The Threesome actress, who is Irish Tatler’s September cover star, admitted she feels guilty leaving two-year-old Sadie and nine-month-old Billy when she goes to work.

“I couldn’t work unless I had a childminder,” she said.

“It wouldn’t be fair to them to be trying to do two things at once.

“When I’m with them I really want to focus all my attention on them,” she added.

She has spent the last few months finishing the screenplay for her movie Bolt, which is loosely based on her second novel, I Wished for You.

Adapting a novel is no easy gig and Huberman admitted the “development process” can be challenging.

“There are times when it’s literally water off a duck’s back and then there are other times when it wears you down a little bit,” she said.

“What you have to tell yourself in those situations is that no one owes you anything.

“The universe doesn’t owe you anything. Yes, there is disappointment, but you get hardened to it.

“The secret is to find a way that you are hardened to it but not cynical about it,” she adds.

When it comes to disappointment, Huberman says she learned how to deal with it from Brian, and his experience of being dropped for the final test during the Lions tour of Australia in 2013.

Despite being told to go into “damage control” mode, the pair didn’t want to conceal their disappointment from the public.

“People aren’t stupid, they appreciate when you say, ‘You know what, sometimes it’s not all rosy, but that’s life’,” she says.

Brian retired from rugby last year and 35-year-old Amy admitted that was a big change for them.


“He’s as busy now as he was before, but it’s a massive shift for someone’s identity when you have a change in what you were doing for most of you life,” she said.

“I don’t think he’ll ever not miss it, but he’s managed really well.

“There wasn’t enough time to sit around – it was more: ‘Keep going, hand me the baby wipes. You can use them to dry your tears and wipe the s**t’,” she said with a laugh.

But as her young children grow out of nappies, Amy doesn’t have any qualms about them following their parents into a life in the public eye.

“There are pros and cons to everything, but I also think if you want to try it, try it – don’t die wondering,” she said.

“Try it, enjoy it, try not take it too seriously.”

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