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'I've Never Laughed So Hard Since I Moved to Dublin'

The Californian wife of U2's the Edge on life in Ireland.

Dublin Daily Interactive, March 28, 2003


Morleigh Steinberg has never been happier since leaving the U.S., she tells Jenny Friel in an exclusive interview. Frances Winston reports.

Morleigh Steinberg may have married one of Dublin's most famous guitarists, but she will never call Anna Livia her home.

It's nine years since the dark-eyed American beauty moved to Ireland to live with her partner, U2 guitarist the Edge.

And although she has great affection for the Irish capital, the professional dancer and choreographer in her still finds it hard being so far away from her native Los Angeles.

"The thing that really struck me when I first came to live here was how provincial the city was. It was just so Irish and everyone I met here was Irish. I had come from such a multicultural city and country," she told Dublin Daily.

"After being here a few months I was so homesick that I used to go into the Asian Market in town just to remind myself that there were other cultures out there."

"In other cities, like New York and London, you've got areas like Chinatown or Little Vietnam, but here, no matter where you go, you're always so aware you're in Dublin.

"But things have changed a lot since I first got here, there's a lot more cultural diversity and the lifestyle is a lot more fast paced, although I don't think that's so beneficial."

Morleigh and the Edge, whose real name is Dave Evans, were married last year in Eze in the South of France. Guests at the ceremony included the Edge's band mates, Bono, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton.

Other well-known faces were the American actor Dennis Hopper, and the musicians Dave Stewart and Lenny Kravitz. But Morleigh is well used to being surrounded by stars of all kinds and has never been fazed by her partner's impressive set of friends.

She said: "I grew up in Hollywood and went to school in Beverly Hills High. I used to see people like Paul Newman riding his bike around my neighbourhood.

"I was used to being around wealth and people who are in the public eye a lot, so it's never really been something that I was ever intimidated by."

The couple first met when Morleigh worked as a choreographer on U2's Joshua Tour, but it was some time before they started dating.

"Bono asked me to help out with movement coaching on their next tour, Zoo TV. The belly dancer bit on 'Mysterious Ways' actually started out as a bit of a joke," Morleigh recalled.

"There had been one in the video, so the guys thought it would be nice to do it live, so they hired a belly dancer. I was there to give advice and train, but the girl they had dancing didn't really have a whole lot of tour experience.

"Bono asked me if I'd like to take over. I'd never belly danced before but I just said to him: 'About time you asked me.' I'm a performer so I'd been dying to dance. It's very tough when you love dancing, to watch from the wings.

"I was with the tour for about two years and it was great fun, but at times I was quite lonely.

"Nothing happened between myself and my partner until the very end and I didn't really know what was going to come of it. We had enjoyed each other's company but I was aware that once the tour was over I was going back to my real life.

"As it turned out, we discovered we missed each other when we were apart, so that was it, but it took me a long time to actually move to Ireland."

Settling in to Dublin was easier than it might have been for Morleigh. "I was lucky. I jumped into this big established group of friends and they gave me a really warm welcome," she said.

"Irish people are incredibly friendly but only up to a certain point and they are quite cliquey. Anyone who's not from here will tell you that. It could be kind of lonely at times but I settled in fine" the American said.

"Things like the weather here don't bother me at all. In fact, I really like the greyness and the stormy conditions. Besides it never stays too miserable for long and I think the winters here can be really beautiful."

However, Morleigh admits that it was not just the climate she got used to. "I love the way Irish people talk. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard since I moved to Dublin," she said.

"The Irish have a really funny, endearing and insightful way of speaking. It's definitely one of my favourite things about being here: the humour."

Morleigh and the Edge have two children, daughter Sian, 5, and their son, Levi, who is 3. Although the family is living near town while their house in plush Dalkey is being renovated, Morleigh is eager that her children know their roots.

"The kids are being brought up here but they know they're from L.A. as well. Because of their dad's job I'm the consistent person in their lives."

"It's funny, I never imagined that I would ever end up living in Dublin. There's not one molecule of Irishness in me. But I fell in love and here I am."

© 2003 Dublin Daily.

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