Irish Actress Represents at the Oscars

Ruth Negga

Irish-Ethiopian actress Ruth Negga has made her fellow countrymen (and -women) very proud with her nomination for Best Actress at the 89th Academy Awards. Negga ultimately lost out to Emma Stone, but that doesn’t make us any less proud!

Negga is no stranger to awards, having been nominated for the Irish Film & Television Academy’s annual awards for her roles as a leading actress in Loving (Film) and Preacher (TV Drama). And before Negga even got to Oscar night, she was honoured at the 12th annual Oscar Wilde Awards on February 23rd. Negga was nominated for the Bafta EE Rising Star Award, also for her role in Loving.

Negga, originally born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to an Ethiopian doctor and Irish nurse, moved with her family to Limerick, Ireland, where she grew up. She loved the idea of acting, getting to dress up as other characters, and had no interest in following her parents’ footsteps by going into the medical field.

Negga admits that while she has loved acting, it was never her goal to become a star, she just wanted to enjoy what she did. Negga’s Academy Award nomination came for her portrayal as Mildred Loving in the movie ‘Loving’. Loving tells the true story story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple whose marriage set the path to eliminating state laws prohibiting interracial marriage in the United States.

Negga says she felt a personal connection to Mildred, especially after visiting the jail cell that Mildred was held in. Like Mildred, Negga tries to avoid the spotlight. She says the paparazzi make her very uneasy, and nervous.

Negga is also well known for her role in the TV Drama Preacher, in which she plays the gun-wielding ex of a small-town preacher. She experienced the negative effect of fame and paparazzi when they caught her sharing a romantic holiday with Preacher co-star Dominic Cooper.