Ruth Negga (// NAY-gə; born 7 January 1982) is an Ethiopian-Irish actress who has appeared in the films Capital Letters (2004) (also released as Trafficked in some countries), Isolation (2005), Breakfast on Pluto (2005), and Warcraft (2016). She has also played roles in television, such as in the BBC mini-series Criminal Justice, RTÉ's Love/Hate, E4's Misfits, and ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In 2016, she began a starring role as Tulip O'Hare in AMC's Preacher.
Negga at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Dublin|
For her portrayal of Mildred Loving in Loving (2016), Negga was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead, Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress and won an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actress, and she was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award.
Early life and education
Negga was born in 1982 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to an Irish mother, Nora, and an Ethiopian father, Dr Negga. Her parents met while her mother was working as a nurse in Ethiopia. Negga lived in the country until she was four. She is an only child. Her father died in a car accident when she was seven. Raised in Limerick, Ireland, she has lived in London since 2006.
Negga studied at the Samuel Beckett Centre at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating with a BA in Acting Studies.
Negga made her screen debut in the Irish film Capital Letters (2004), playing the lead role of Taiwo. She went on to play the lead role of Mary in Isolation the following year. Prior to this, she had been working mostly in theatre. After seeing Negga act, director Neil Jordan changed the script to Breakfast on Pluto so that she could appear in the movie. She has also starred in Colour Me Kubrick (2005), with John Malkovich, and the short films The Four Horsemen, 3-Minute 4-Play and Stars.
On television Negga has appeared in Doctors, Criminal Justice and the Irish series Love Is the Drug. She played the lead role of Doris "Sid" Siddiqi in the BBC Three series Personal Affairs, alongside Laura Aikman, Annabel Scholey and Maimie McCoy. Negga portrayed Rosie in the first two series of Love/Hate.
Negga appeared as Dame Shirley Bassey in the BBC production Shirley in 2011 and won the IFTA Award for Best Actress (Television) for her performance. Her theatre work includes roles in Duck, Titus Andronicus and Lay Me Down Softly. As of 2007, she began working with the Irish theatrical group Pan Pan Theatre. In 2010, she played Ophelia in the National Theatre's production of Hamlet. She also provided voice acting in the video game Dark Souls II, playing Shanalotte, otherwise known as "the Emerald Herald".
In 2013, it was announced that Negga had been booked for a recurring role as Raina on the American TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. She appeared in 17 episodes of the programme. She filmed scenes for Steve McQueen's Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, but her role was ultimately cut from the movie. In March 2015, Negga was cast in the role of Tulip O'Hare in AMC fantasy drama series Preacher, which debuted the following year.
In 2016, Negga starred in Loving, which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and later screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is based on the true story of the Lovings, a married interracial couple in the 1950s and 1960s Virginia, whose relationship led to the Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia. Negga received rave reviews for the role, and garnered multiple award nominations, including for the Academy Award for Best Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and the BAFTA Rising Star Award.
Negga was in a relationship with actor Dominic Cooper beginning in 2010. They first met in 2009 while working together in a stage adaptation of Phèdre with Helen Mirren. The two lived together in London's Primrose Hill. The couple dated for six years; however, Negga has pointed out that it took the press years to learn of the break-up, which was first reported in April 2018. Negga stars opposite Cooper in AMC's Preacher, in which the pair portray lovers, and has said that they are "best friends".
|2005||Breakfast on Pluto||Charlie|
|2005||Colour Me Kubrick||Lolita|
|2013||World War Z||WHO doctor|
|2013||12 Years a Slave||Celeste||Deleted scenes|
|2013||Jimi: All Is by My Side||Ida|
|2014||Of Mind and Music||Jessica|
|2019||Ad Astra||Helen Lantos|
|2004||Doctors||Wanda Harrison||Episode: "The Replacement"|
|2004||Love is the Drug||Lisa Sheerin||4 episodes|
|2008||Criminal Justice||Melanie Lloyd||Main role (series 1)|
|2009||Personal Affairs||Doris "Sid" Siddiqi||Main role|
|2010||Five Daughters||Rochelle||Television miniseries|
|2010–2011||Love/Hate||Rosie||Main role (series 1–2)|
|2010||Misfits||Nikki||Recurring role (series 2)|
|2010||The Nativity||Leah||Main role|
|2011||Shirley||Shirley Bassey||Television film|
|2012||Secret State||Agnes Evans||Television miniseries|
|Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||Raina||Recurring role (seasons 1–2)|
Guest role (season 5)
|2016–2019||Preacher||Tulip O'Hare||Main role|
Also executive producer
Awards and nominations
Negga was nominated as 2003's Most Promising Newcomer at the Olivier Awards. She was chosen as Ireland's Shooting Star for the 2006 Berlin Film Festival. She has received many accolades for her role of Mildred Loving in the 2016 film Loving, including Academy Award, Critic's Choice, and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress.
- "Ruth Negga Biography". Goldenglobes.com. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- "Oscars 2017: Ruth Negga nominated for best actress award". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- "Africa from A to Z: Fast facts on the 55 states - Ethiopia". South Africa Gateway. 6 December 2017. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "'Always a star in the family': Ruth's Oscar bid". Limerickleader.ie. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
- Gutierrez, Jorge (2 December 2006). "Ruth Negga, a star without a label". Cafe Babel.com. Archived from the original on 29 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
- Phil Hoad (8 January 2006). "Rising Star: Ruth Negga, actor". The Observer.
- Alan Owens, "Ruth's star is on the rise with BBC", Limerick Leader, 20 August 2011.
- Cineuropa – Interviews – Ruth Negga, Actress. Cineuropa.org.
- "P.A.s cast have Secs Appeal on BBC Three". BBC Press Office. 2 June 2008.
- Notaro, Vicki (23 May 2016). "How Oscar-tipped Ruth Negga's star has finally ascended..." Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
- Company Members: Ruth Negga Archived 29 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine, National Theatre. April 2009.
- "Jere Burns Upped On 'Justified', Michael Rispoli, Ruth Negga, Danielle Nicolet In Arcs". Deadline.com.
- Declassifying Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep. 105: Girl in the Flower Dress Archived 13 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Marvel.com.
- Clarke, Donald (17 May 2016). "Negga's 'Loving' performance already generating Oscar buzz". The Irish Times. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
- "First Casting Announcement for AMC's "Preacher"! - Bloody Disgusting". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
- "Ruth Negga portrays civil rights activist Mildred Loving". Toronto Star, 10 November 2016, pg. E1.
- "Oscar nominations 2017: the full list". Guardian. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- Brady, Sarah (6 February 2017). "Ruth Negga continues her successful award season run with yet another honour". Irish Independent. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- McBride, Caitlin (8 June 2016). "Irish actress Ruth Negga and Dominic Cooper make rare public appearance at Warcraft premiere". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- Marcus, Emily (5 April 2018). "Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga Split After 8 Years Together". Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "Ruth Negga Talks Diversity, Hamlet And Her Split From Dominic Cooper". Marie Claire. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
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