Irish Daily Mail - YOU

How Hilary became a WILD ROSE

On screen she’s a formidable mammy or a smoulderin­g seductress but off screen she’s a former hip-hop DJ with a penchant for walking barefoot through the woods


e’re more used to seeing her in a hairnet and white coat, fish slice in hand as formidable mammy Mairead in Cork-based comedy The Young Offenders. But if you go down to the woods today, the surprise you might get is the sight of actress Hilary Rose wandering barefoot through the trees. Similarly along the Cork coves, she will often be gracing the waves, natural curls covered in the salty sea water, sand between the toes. It’s something the 42-year-old craves. When we turned to the land around us during lockdowns, the actress wasn’t one bit surprised.

‘We are nature,’ Hilary says matter-of-factly. ‘People make a distinctio­n between themselves and nature when in fact we are one. People were being drawn back really quickly to nature and I thought it was brilliant. It’s something I have been doing for a very long time, getting myself out into the woods, or the beach.

‘It takes away all the stresses and strains. It’s really beautiful and I really love watching others embrace that – sometimes for the first time in their lives. It was really wonderful to see.’ As a child growing up in Cork city, Hilary was always outdoors – riding horses, swimming, climbing trees – but as she grew older, life took over a bit. ‘I definitely lost track of that sense of myself in my 20s,’ she says. ‘You graduate from college, you try and get stuck into work, your focus is slightly different. Then coming into my 30s I felt that there was something kind of missing from my life. That’s when I started to reconnect deeply with it and it was a lifesaver. It’s brilliant.’

She found herself yearning for her old hobby of horse riding, which she still does, and there were other draws too.

‘It sounds ridiculous and it always makes me laugh when I think about this but if I was driving cross-country I would find myself looking into fields and wanting to roll in the grass,’ she laughs. ‘Now I didn’t do it but I realised I really had to get out and get grounded and reconnect.’

So no matter if it’s cold and wet, that’s where you’ll find Hilary when she’s in need of a bit of self-care.

‘Swimming in Ireland, the water can be really cold and that can be a deterrent,’ she says laughing. ‘But you never regret a swim, ever.

‘Those are the words I live by – you never regret it when you get

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