Ruth Negga Opens Up About Growing Up Biracial In Ireland

Photo: Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock.
You know her as the star of Loving — a role that earned her a Best Actress nomination at the Oscars — and from AMC's Preacher. But in real life, Ruth Negga's backstory is just as complex as the roles she's played.
The actress is featured on the August cover of Town & Country, and the magazine's interview with Negga is incredibly wide-ranging. Negga talked about her Preacher character, her father's death, and growing up in Limerick, Ireland.
As Negga explains in the interview, her mom is Irish, while dad was Ethiopian. She and her mom moved from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, to Ireland "during a period of growing political instability," Town & Country explains, but her dad didn't want to move. Negga's father died in a car crash when she was seven.
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"It's awful to not know someone who you look like," Negga told the magazine of her father. "It's tragic, but that's life, isn't it?"
Negga also had some insightful words about death and loss to impart with the magazine. "You don't have any concept when you're a kid," she told Town & Country. "This earthquake has happened, and you don't know how to process it, and a lot of people around you don't know how to process it."
The actress also spoke to Town & Country about being biracial in Ireland. "In Ireland, there weren't very many black people. I was sort of exotic," she told the magazine. She also revealed that growing up, she "wasn't fond of school," but she knew it would help her "get somewhere." Negga eventually earned a scholarship to Trinity College's Samuel Beckett Theater, which she says she loved, despite the long hours.
You can check out the full interview, which also includes beautiful words from Zadie Smith about Negga's acting skills, over at Town & Country.
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