Although most moviegoers, particularly Americans, may not have even heard of Ruth Negga before her new film Loving debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May, they have certainly heard of this supremely talented actress now. Her stunning but subtle performance in the Jeff Nichols film about a 1950s interracial marriage that took the issue of marriage equality all the way to the Supreme Court in a triumphant decision in 1967, has won wide critical acclaim for its quiet strength. It also is heavily buzzed to bring Negga, born in Ethiopia and raised in Ireland, her first Best Actress Oscar nomination for the movie, in which she stars opposite an equally effective Joel Edgerton.
Negga plays Mildred Loving, who along with husband Richard was jailed in Virginia for simply marrying outside of their race, and in return for freedom were ordered never to return together to the state again. Eventually the ACLU took on the case and the rest is history, but as Negga plays her, this was a very quiet victory for a simple woman who simply wanted to love her husband and live in peace in the place she called home. Negga recently stopped by our Deadline studios for a taping of my new video series The Actor’s Side and talked not only about Loving but also the inherent drive that drew her to a role she believes she was destined to play.
Although well known in British stage and television circles, Negga has also appeared in such films as Breakfast On Pluto, World War Z, Jimi: All Is By My Side and Warcraft. On TV, international audiences have seen her in Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and most recently as Tulip O’Hare in AMC’s Preacher. But this is just the beginning for the 34-year-old actress as she discusses with me her career to date and the love for acting she clearly possesses.
Loving is currently in theaters. Check out our conversation above.