If any film has emerged from Cannes thus far as having the necessary legs to last the next nine months of Oscar conversation, it’s Jeff Nichols’ Loving, which premiered Monday night to a rapturous Palais crowd. It’s the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple in ’60s Virginia who were arrested and convicted for that state’s anti-miscegenation laws, having married in Washington DC. With the help of Bobby Kennedy and the ACLU, the Lovings took their case all the way to the Supreme Court and won; as Ruth Negga says in the video above, they changed the constitution with their fight.
Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1982 to an Irish mother and an Ethiopian father, and lived in the country until she was four. She is an only child, but has a large family on her mother’s side. Her father died in a car accident when she was seven.Raised in Limerick, she has lived in London since 2006.