Friday 9 December 2016

'Land, home and community are super important' - Ruth Negga used Ireland as inspiration for Oscar-tipped role

Sasha Brady

Published 20/10/2016 | 09:53

Ruth Negga arrives on the red carpet for the film
Ruth Negga arrives on the red carpet for the film "Loving" during the 41st Toronto International Film Festival
Ruth Negga arrives on the red carpet for the film "Loving" during the 41st Toronto International Film Festival

Ruth Negga has said she drew on her experiences growing up in Ireland for her new movie role.

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The Limerick actress is being tipped for an Oscar nod for her role in Loving.

Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in Loving
Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in Loving

The film is based on the landmark civil rights case Loving v. Virginia, which was brought by Mildred Loving (Negga), a black woman, and Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton), a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for their illegal interracial marriage.

Speaking to Vogue magazine, the Love/Hate star said she drew from her experiences in Ireland for the role of Mildred.

Ruth Negga arrives on the red carpet for the film
Ruth Negga arrives on the red carpet for the film "Loving" during the 41st Toronto International Film Festival

"Virginia isn't that different from Ireland," she said.

"Land and home and community are super important. When I was playing her, I tried to imagine I couldn't go home again because of whom I married. It must have drained the lifeblood from her."

The star, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Limerick, said she didn't experience racism growing up in Ireland.

"When I was a kid in Ireland, there were not very many black people. I was very much like the strange brown thing, intriguing and cute," she said. "I didn't experience racism there. The first time I did was in London. It was that moment that you realize you're black. A kind of lifting of the veil."

Actor Ruth Negga attends the Cartier Fifth Avenue Grand Reopening Event at the Cartier Mansion on September 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Cartier)
Actor Ruth Negga attends the Cartier Fifth Avenue Grand Reopening Event at the Cartier Mansion on September 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Cartier)

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