As part of our ongoing series of profiles on Best Actress contenders, we bring you Ruth Negga. Negga, the Ethiopian and Irish actress nails a southern accent in Jeff Nichols’ Loving, where she plays Mildred Loving, the woman who spearheaded the supreme court ruling to allow interracial marriages when the “Racial Integrity Act” prevented them in Virginia. Loving wrote to Robert F. Kennedy and in 1967, one year before his assassination, he instructed her to contact the ACLU. The case went to court and the rest is history. Then, like now, you can see how the racist white power movement would have the same kind of panic they’re now having over gay marriage. Kennedy, of course, was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian who objected to Kennedy’s support of Israel, not by a white supremacist. But he certainly had his share of death threats against him by the white power movement.
Negga’s performance is spot on, especially if you look at any video footage of Mildred Loving. Negga is the kind of thoughtful actress who studies a person through and through before becoming them. She did this as Shirley Bassey and again as Mildred Loving. She’s a brilliant actress and the soul center of Nichols’ film.