05-21-2018  5:40 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

3 high school seniors die in crash weeks before graduation

YONCALLA, Ore. (AP) — School officials say three senior girls were killed in a car crash on Interstate 5 in western Oregon, just weeks before graduation.Eagle Point High School said on its Facebook page that Luciana Tellez, Giselle Montano and Esmeralda Nava died Saturday night after their...

The Latest: Cougar that attacked cyclists was underweight

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a cougar attack that killed one mountain biker and wounded another outside Seattle (all times local):4:10 p.m.Authorities say the cougar that attacked two cyclists east of Seattle, killing one of them, appears to have been emaciated.Washington Department of Fish...

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle.They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and...

The Latest: Cougar that attacked cyclists was underweight

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a cougar attack that killed one mountain biker and wounded another outside Seattle (all times local):4:10 p.m.Authorities say the cougar that attacked two cyclists east of Seattle, killing one of them, appears to have been emaciated.Washington Department of Fish...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Native American lacrosse teams leagueless in South Dakota

Travis Brave Heart was planning to spend his senior season this spring and summer tuning up to play college lacrosse in the fall. Instead, the 17-year-old standout from Aberdeen, South Dakota, is faced with the prospect of not playing at all.His Lightning Stick Society team was one of three Native...

2018 midterms show start of Democratic scramble for 2020

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie...

Black women look to flex power in Georgia governor's race

ATLANTA (AP) — This week's primary election in Georgia presents black women voters with a rare opportunity: To give a Democrat who looks like them a chance at occupying the governor's mansion in a Republican-controlled state.A Democratic primary win Tuesday for Stacey Abrams or Stacey Evans...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Deadpool 2' ends Avengers' box-office reign, rakes in 5M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the Avengers.Fox's "Deadpool 2" brought in 5 million this weekend, giving it the second-highest opening ever for an R-rated movie and ending the three-week reign of Disney's "Avengers:...

Winners in the top categories at Billboard Music Awards

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A list of winners in the top categories at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, held Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.— Top Hot 100 song: "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber— Top Billboard 200 album: "DAMN." by...

The Latest: Janet Jackson honored at Billboard Awards

The Latest on the Billboard Music Awards (all times local):7:18 p.m.The youngest of the legendary Jackson musical family, Janet Jackson gave her first televised performance in nine years at the Billboard Music Awards.She was honored as the first black woman to receive the Billboard Icon Award on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

School victims honored at Billboard Awards; Janet, BTS shine

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards paid tribute to the students and teachers affected by recent deadly shootings in...

Economic talks between US and China lead to trade war truce

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China are pulling back from the brink of a trade war after the...

In North Korea nuke site closure, spectacle trumps substance

TOKYO (AP) — Foreign journalists will be allowed to journey deep into the mountains of North Korea this...

Abbas, 83-year-old Palestinian leader, still in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinian president's condition has seen a "clear improvement" after he was taken to...

4 years after coup, Thailand wearies of junta rule

BANGKOK (AP) — Four years after seizing power, Thailand's junta has a singular success it never hoped for:...

Nurse dead in Congo as Ebola vaccination campaign starts

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A nurse has died from Ebola in Bikoro, the rural northwestern town where the...

Ruth Negga in Loving
By Kam Williams | The Skanner News

Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa on Jan. 7, 1982 to an Irish mother and Ethiopian father. An only child, Ruth was raised in Limerick, Ireland from the age of 4, and attended Trinity College in Dublin where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Acting.

Her body of work spans award-winning theatre productions, big-screen dramas, independent films, and innovative television series. She won the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of legendary singer Shirley Bassey in the telefilm Shirley.

Stateside, she joined the Marvel Universe as Raina on the hit show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., for which she received an IFTA Award nomination. Currently, she co-stars as Tulip O’Hare opposite Dominic Cooper in the AMC series Preacher, an adaptation of the DC Comics graphic novel of the same name.

Ruth made her stage debut in Lolita at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre. Her extensive theatre credits include Duck at London’s Royal Court Theatre, for which she received an Olivier Award nomination; Playboy of the Western World, at The Old Vic; Hamlet, at the National Theatre; Phaedre, also at the National Theatre, for which was honored with the Ian Charleson Award, given annually to young classical stage actors in Britain; Oedipus Loves You, at the Peter Pan Theatre; Lay Me Down Softly, The Crucible, The Bacchae, and Burial at Thebes, all at the Abbey Theatre; and, at the Project Theatre, Titus Andronicus, for which she received the Irish Times Award for Best Actress.

Ruth was named a Shooting Star at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival. On the big screen, she's been featured in World War Z; The Samaritan, alongside Samuel L. Jackson; Breakfast on Pluto, for which she received an IFTA Award nomination; Of Mind and Music; Noble; Jimi: All Is by My Side, Warcraft; and in the title role of Iona.

Here, Ruth talks about her latest outing as Mildred Loving in Loving, the biopic/courtroom drama about the couple who took their challenge of the State of Virginia's law against interracial marriage all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Kam Williams: Hi Ruth. thanks for the interview.

Ruth Negga: Oh, hi Kam. How are you?

 

KW: Great! And you?

RN: I'm not bad. Not too bad at all, now.

 

KW: I loved the film and both your and Joel Edgerton's performances.

RN: Oh, thank you!

 

KW: What interested you in Loving?

RN: That's a good question. Let me try to give you a concise answer. I basically fell in love with Mildred and Richard [Loving, the main characters]. I thought they were an extraordinary couple whose love just seemed so apparent. To be honest with you, Jeff's [writer/director Jeff Nichols] script was such a beautiful reflection of these human beings that I really wanted to spend time with them.

 

KW: What convinced Jeff Nichols to trust such an American story in the hands of leads from Australia and from Ireland by way of Ethiopia? Had you ever heard of the Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia?

RN: Yes, but I don't think that being an expert in the Loving case is what would qualify me to play Mildred. Do you know what I mean?

 

KW: Yes.

RN: I think my job is to be a chameleon and to disappear, so I don't think my being Irish and Ethiopian should prohibit me from playing Mildred at all. I believe that what should matter more is my skill set and my willingness to work.

 

KW: This is very intimate film, with a quiet chemistry generated between you and Joel via looks and tender touches. Had you two worked together before? How long did you get to rehearse with each other?

RN: Well, Jeff doesn't rehearse. He casts quite instinctively. In this case, I think he knew he was casting two actors who would be willing to work very hard. I did audition for him, and I think he was impressed with the extent to which I'd prepared for that. The thing is, he wanted people who could embody this couple, not mimic them. He'd previously worked with Joel in Midnight Special, so he'd already witnessed Joel's ability to disappear into a character. And that was a very American part, too. I believe Jeff just trusted us both as actors to do our jobs individually. And we both professed such love for this couple that he was confident that we'd try as hard as possible to recreate their love and their chemistry. He also knew, intrinsically, that we were two actors who don't act in isolation but very much rely on other actors. And Joel and I both very much felt that this was something that we could do as an ensemble.

 

KW: When I saw the film, I thought that this was the first time I'd seen you. Then, when I looked at your resume, I realized I'd seen you in World War Z, in Of Mind and Music, in Jimi and in a few other productions. So, that shows how much you do disappear into a role. I was very impressed. I had no idea you weren't American.

RN: Wow! that's a lovely thing to say. Thank you!

 

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: How did you prepare to play Mildred? What research did you need to conduct to capture the character accurately?

RN: Great question, Patricia! Luckily, Nancy Buirski had made the documentary, The Loving Story, for HBO. She first found out about Mildred Loving by reading her obituary. Being the excellent documentarian that she is, she then began digging and doing research, and she found archival footage which had been discarded that was originally intended for a contemporary documentary. And she created a documentary about this couple, weaving footage into it. So, I basically studied that and all the archival footage that we could find. The Loving Story was really a gift, because it let me sort of unlock Mildred, her physicality, the way she spoke, the timbre, tone and pitch of her voice, the way she moved, and the way she was with Richard, her kids, and the rest of her family. It really was invaluable, which is why I always quip that Nancy did my homework for me.

 

KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film?

RN: I don't know what people will take away from the film, but I would hope they take away the idea that it's very important that we don't forget those in history who might have been quiet agitators, people who might have changed the world in a way which was unexpected. And that should remind us that we all have the capacity to do that. Even if you think that you don't, this couple proves otherwise.

 

KW: I agree. I found the film to be very powerful in an understated way. It'll be interesting to see how people respond to it.

RN: It will be. You're right.

 

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

RN: Gosh, that's a good question. Hmm... [Pauses to think] I don't know, but that's a brilliant question, I must admit. But I do love talking about this couple.

 

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you'd like to star in?

RN: Someone's already asked me that, Kam. I answered All about Eve, because I think it's just such a brilliant film. I doubt that it could be remade any better, but I just love the character Eve Harrington.

 

KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?

RN: Waiting with my mom at a bus stop in Addis Ababa during the rainy season. I remember being dressed in a pink coat and being fascinating by the raindrops hitting the pools of water. I do love rain, which you better, if you grow up in Ireland.

 

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

RN: Credit cards, stick gum attached to pennies, and an unhygienic toothpick. Honestly, my purse is just a mess. Constantly. [Laughs]

 

KW: Thanks again for the time, Ruth, and best of luck with Loving.

RN: Thank you ever so much, Kam. Bye!

 

 

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