In 2010, Ruth Negga became the National Theatre’s first ever black Ophelia. However, she’s made her television mark in the States with roles pulled from much different source material than Shakespearean plays – comic books. First, as Raina in ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and then as Tulip O’Hare in the DC property and new AMC series, ‘Preacher.’ Now she’s bringing history to life on the big screen as Mildred Loving in ‘Loving.’ The film is based on a true story about the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage, and is already generating Oscar buzz.
That sort of visibility doesn’t go unnoticed. I asked Ruth what it would mean to have the movie honored on such a large stage:
“It would be awesome,” she said laughing at the prospect. “The great thing about awards is that it draws attention to your film and in doing so will draw attention to this couple. They stand for – I think – what’s great about America. You can have many identities and still be quintessentially American.”
If there’s one thing Ruth Negga understands better than most it’s occupying many different identities. As an actress, she’s nothing short of a chameleon. Her portrayal of Tulip O’Hare in ‘Preacher’ is a complete 180 from Mildred Loving. Seth Rogen, one of the executive producers of ‘Preacher,’ said that Negga “takes things that aren’t even meant to be funny and makes them funnier” – high praise from one of America’s most recognizable funny men.
While ‘Preacher’ still waits for word on if there will be a second season, I don’t predict Ruth Negga will be going away anytime soon. If you see her name popping up on Oscar ballots next year, don’t forget that Jeanne told you first!
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Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga play a couple taking their case for interracial marriage to the Supreme Court in “Loving.” It’s history but it’s also moving story about the power of love.