If you’re not familiar with Jeff Nichols’ upcoming film Loving, get ready to be seriously inspired. The movie tells the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving — a white man and Black woman who were arrested for marrying before interracial marriage was legal in the state of Virginia. They took their case all the way up to the Supreme Court, and in 1967 all state laws prohibiting interracial marriage were officially rendered invalid because of their efforts.
The story resonates deeply with actress Ruth Negga who plays Mildred (opposite Joel Egerton), as she’s the child of an Ethiopian father and Irish mother.
“Stories about race and identity pique my interest for obvious reasons. That’s in my body, my brain, my history, my memories — it’s all part of my toolbox as an actor,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
Since the premiere of Loving at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, there’s been a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding Negga as a possible Best Actress nominee. However, history has shown that men and women of color are left out of award season all too often.
When asked how she feels about this issue, Negga gave a thoughtful and powerful reply:
“I’m all for philosophical debates about race, but if you look at history, you see that the status quo has power when it’s unchallenged. So these conversations about inequality are crucial.”
She went on to emphasize that these important discussions must continue, no matter what.
“I think we’re at such a point in time now that we don’t have time to worry about if it’s fair or not. We need to have a conversation about the fact that black faces are not as visible as they should be, that there is huge inequality everywhere in terms of race.”
She also noted that Richard and Mildred possessed the “energy” to stand up and fight for their love and what they believed in, implying that others can do the same.
We’re with you, Ruth! And we can’t wait to support this film.