Irish actress Ruth Negga has just been announced as the lead in a movie adaptation of documentary The Loving Story, the real-life tale of one of the leading landmark cases of the civil rights movement in 1960s America.
Richard and Mildred Lovig were an interracial couple whose marriage was declared illegal in Virginia, where interracial coupling was considered a felony at the time. The couple took a case to the US Supreme Court after years of struggling to get their marriage recognised. They won the case in 1967 and the judgment of Loving vs. Virginia became one of the most iconic decisions of the court.
At the time, interracial marriage was known as miscegenation, and many states had laws against it. The Loving case effectively made it impossible for states to pass and uphold such laws, as the court found them to be unconstitutional.
The story of how the Lovings fell in love in such a toxic climate is inspiring, and Negga’s part as African American Mildred promises to be a meaty one. Indiewire reports that it was Mildred’s decision to fight the law after her and husband’s arrest and their subsequent banishment from the state of Virginia. The couple moved to Washington DC as a result. Mildred eventually wrote a letter to Robert F. Kennedy, who was serving as Attorney General at the time, who put her in touch with civil liberties groups who helped her bring a case to the highest court in the land.
The planned movie adaptation of the 2011 documentary will also star Australian actor Joel Edgerton, who you may remember from his role in The Great Gatsby where he played the truly awful husband of Carey Mulligan’s Daisy. We’re sure he’ll be a lot more sound as Richard Loving. Ruth Negga has been building a steady career in the States, with a recurring role in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D television series and bit parts in movies such as World War Z. Pretty good for a girl who caught the nation’s attention in Love/Hate.
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