Ruth Negga draws from personal experiences for new film

18th Oct 16 | Entertainment News

The actress didn't grow up around a lot of black people in Ireland.

Ruth Negga

Ruth Negga channelled the racism she has experienced in London to get into character for her acclaimed new movie Loving.

The World War Z star was born in Ethiopia, but grew up in Limerick, Ireland and while she felt like a bit of an outsider during her childhood, it wasn't until she arrived in England in 2006 that she "realised" her skin colour was an issue for some ignorant locals.

Ruth is currently starring in Loving, the story of real-life couple Richard and Mildred Loving, who fought against Virginia state's interracial marriage ban in 1967, and while filming the movie she drew on some of her own experiences.

"Virginia isn't that different from Ireland," she tells Vogue magazine. "Land and home and community are super important. When I was playing her (Loving), I tried to imagine I couldn't go home again because of whom I married. It must have drained the lifeblood from her."

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

Joel Edgerton plays the 34-year-old's husband in the film and the actor explains that although the story takes place in the 1960s, it is relevant to what is taking place in the U.S. today.

"A robin's a robin, a sparrow is a sparrow," he says. "That's the double beauty of the film. It's a racial period piece, but it also echoes very loudly today."

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