Golden Globe nominee Ruth Negga is undoubtedly one of THE actresses to watch this year. She first hit the silver screen in 2004, starring in the Irish film Capital Letters, and appeared in Academy Award winning 12 Years A Slave and E4's Misfits before landing herself leading roles in Iona and Loving.
From her chilhood in Limerick to her red carpet designer of choice, here, we uncover everything you need to know about this super talented rising star...
Ruth Negga: Biography
Ruth was born in Addis Ababa in 1982 to her Irish mother, Norra, a nurse, and her Ethiopian father, Dr Negga, who tragically died in a car accident when she was just seven years old.
She lived in Ethiopia until she was four, after which she crossed continents to Ireland. She attened Roxborough national school and later Scoil Carmel in Limeric, after which she was awarded a place at Trinity College, Dublin where she obtained a BA in drama. Upon graduation, Ruth went straight to work in the theatre.
In 2003, she was nominated as the 'Most Promising Newcomer' at the Olivier Awards. She was unsuccessful, but amusingly told The Observer 'I stole the cutlery when I didn't win'.
She went on to take up a couple of small TV roles in the series Love is the Drug and Doctors, and also starred in Capital Letters in 2004. But her career took an upward trajectory following her audition for Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto. 'I didn’t know much about her when she came to the casting,' Jordan has said, 'but the moment I saw her act, I decided to change the script so that she could appear in the movie'. We'd call that no mean feat...
Ruth currently lives in London with her actor-boyfriend, Mamma Mia!'s Dominic Cooper, who she met starring in the National Theatre's Phedre in 2009, and who she's been dating since 2010.
Ruth Negga's Filmography
Following Breakfast on Pluto, Ruth kept up her theatre work – starring as Aricia in the aforementioned Phedre, and the following year (2010), in the National Theatre's Hamlet as Ophelia – but also kept going with TV, taking on the role of Nikki in E4's sci-fi comedy drama Misfits in the same year, and the Irish TV drama Love/Hate from 2010-11. Later in 2011, she won critical acclaim for her role as Shirley Bassey in BBC 2's Shirley.
In 2013, she appeared in Steve McQueen's Oscar-winning movie 12 Years a Slave and the following year, starred as Joan in Stephen Bradley's Noble.
More TV work followed in 2015, as Raina in the series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but it was her leading roles as Iona in Iona (also released in 2015), and Mildred in last year's Loving – for which she has been nominated for a Golden Globe, and already won a number of accolades – which have propelled her into the realms of super stardom.
Ruth Negga and Loving
Loving is a historical film based on the struggle of Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred (Ruth) Loving, an interracial couple who married in 1958. Their union was in violation of Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws, which criminalised interracial marriage, and they were subsequently arrested and expelled from the state.
Mildred and Richard took their case – known as Loving v. Virginia – to the United States Supreme Court and – SPOILER ALERT! – won. The unanimous decision deemed the prohibition of their marriage 'unconstitutional' and put a stop to all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the States thereafter.
Ruth Negga's Style
Ruth wowed earlier this week at the Palm Springs International Film Festival wearing an embroidered, diaphanous Valentino gown. In fact, most of her red carpet appearances see her dazzle in Valentino.
Seemingly uninterested in 'the norm', Ruth loves colour and detail, often opting for embroidered creations in interesting hues which make her stand out from the crowd. From cat motifs, to nautical crop tops and even top to toe velvet, Ruth's style turns heads and is, in itself, heading for stardom.