Ruth Negga is nominated for her first Oscar this year for her role in “Loving,” the true story of real-life couple Mildred and Richard Loving and their fight to invalidate laws prohibiting interracial marriage in the 1960s.
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For Negga, a win for best actress would be both validation and a way to inform more people about the Lovings’ uplifting story, she said.
“To me, movies encourage a shift in consciousness. And ours seems to be having that response,” Negga, 34, said in an interview on ABC News’ “Popcorn with Peter Travers.”
Here are five things to know about the Oscar-nominated actress.
1. She’s Ethiopian, Irish and English.
While watching Negga portray Mildred Loving, you might not realize she has an accent in real life.
Negga was born in Addis Ababa to an Irish mother and an Ethiopian father. She lived there until she moved to England.
“Other people might think I’m quite exotic, but for me, that’s my normality,” Negga said. “I feel very much a part of all of these different worlds.”
2. She knew she wanted to be an actress even when she was a young girl.
One of Negga’s favorite activities as a child was renting movies on a Friday night.
“I’ve always had it in my brain that that was what I was going to do,” Negga said of wanting to be an actress. “Movies were my first love.”
3. One of her favorite films is "All About Eve."
Some of the movies Negga grew up watching were comedies like “Big Business” and “Outrageous Fortune,” and fantasies, such as “Legend” and “Labyrinth.”
But she told Travers that one of her favorite movies ever is “All About Eve.”
4. She hates when the word “strong” is used to describe people.
“There’s so much more to say than 'strong,'” Negga explained. “Strong can be everything. Strong doesn’t have to be necessarily physically tough.”
5. She’s on the small screen too.
“The great thing about playing Tulip is that she’s -- like Mildred -- you feel like you’re playing a full human being rather than someone’s idea of what a strong female character is,” she said of her role on “Preacher.”