Ruth Negga: 'I didn’t fit in anywhere as I was growing up'
Published 19/03/2016 | 10:30
Former Love/Hate star Ruth Negga has said she felt she “never fitted anywhere” in life – or in Hollywood.
Ruth, whose mum is Irish and dad Ethiopian, said that having parents of different races may explain why she felt like an outsider.
Born in Addis Ababa, she lived there until she was four and moved between Limerick and London during her childhood.
“My feelings of difference were partly down to having parents of different races,” she said.
“I had quite a scattered childhood. I was Irish in London, because I had my secondary school education there. I never really fitted anywhere.
“I didn’t feel it was a negative thing and I was never made to feel different, I just knew I was.”
Ruth is now starring in US series Preacher. Produced by Seth Rogen, it also stars her boyfriend, Dominic Cooper, who she met in 2009.
Preacher is based on writer Garth Ennis and illustrator Steve Dillon’s 1995 comic book series.
It tells the story of a preacher named Jesse (played by Cooper) who is possessed by a demon called Genesis and embarks on adventures with his criminal ex-girlfriend Tulip O’Hare (played by Ruth).
“Tulip is sort of unforgettable. She has no morals. She’s an agitator assassin,” said Ruth. “She’s written the way male characters are usually written.
“I’d never read a part for a woman like that. They usually have a tender heart or a soft spot for some guy. Not Tulip.”
The Preacher pilot was described by fans as “bloody, violent and hilarious”.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Ruth also discussed the lack of diversity in the film industry.
“Diversity needs to operate on every level,” she said.
“It’s great that the Oscars have highlighted it, but black actors getting nominated shouldn’t be the only result. There’s so much more that needs to be done.”
The actress first became a household name when she appeared in hit RTE gangland drama Love/ Hate, playing Rosie.
Since then she has appeared in several high-profile TV shows and films.
She was in Brad Pitt’s World War Z and Agents of SHIELD.
She also starred in the successful BBC biopic Shirley, which told the life story of Welsh singer Shirley Bassey.
She is soon to star in the much anticipated film Loving.
The movie is inspired by Nancy Buirski’s Emmy Award-winning documentary The Loving Story. It’s about Richard and Mildred Loving, a white man and African-American woman who fell in love and were married in 1958.
The couple were jailed by the authorities in Virginia, where they were making their home, and then banished from the state.
The couple took their civil rights case, Loving v Virginia, all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in their favour.
The film is being produced by Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth and is due for release in November.