Ruth Negga

Ruth Negga

Born (1982-01-07) January 7, 1982
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Nationality Irish/Ethiopian
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin (B.A.)
Occupation Actress
Years active 2004–present

Ruth Negga (born January 7, 1982) is an Ethiopian-Irish actress who has appeared in the films Capital Letters (2004) (also released as Trafficked in some countries), Isolation (2005), Breakfast on Pluto (2005), Warcraft and Loving (both 2016). She has also played roles in television, such as in the BBC's mini-series Criminal Justice, RTÉ's Love/Hate, E4's Misfits, and ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In 2016 she begin a starring role as Tulip O'Hare in AMC's Preacher.

Early life

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.[1] Raised in Limerick, Ireland, she has lived in London since 2006.[2][3][4]

Negga studied at the Samuel Beckett Centre at Trinity College, Dublin,[5] graduating with a BA in Acting Studies.[1]


Negga made her screen debut in the Irish film Capital Letters (2004), playing the lead role of Taiwo. She went on to play the lead role of Mary in Isolation the following year. Prior to this she had been working mostly in theatre.[5]

After seeing Negga act, director Neil Jordan changed the script to Breakfast on Pluto so that she could appear in the movie.[1] She has also starred in Colour Me Kubrick (2005), with John Malkovich, and the short films The Four Horsemen, 3-Minute 4-Play and Stars.

On television Negga has appeared in Doctors, Criminal Justice and the Irish series Love Is the Drug. She also played the lead role of Doris "Sid" Siddiqi in the BBC Three series Personal Affairs, alongside Laura Aikman, Annabel Scholey and Maimie McCoy.[6] Negga portrayed Rosie in the first two series of Love/Hate.[7] Negga also appeared as Dame Shirley Bassey in the BBC production Shirley in 2011, and won the IFTA Award for Best Actress (Television) for her performance.

Negga's theatre work includes roles in Duck, Titus Andronicus and Lay Me Down Softly.[8] As of 2007 she began working with the Irish theatrical group Pan Pan Theatre. In 2010, she played Ophelia in the National Theatre's production of Hamlet.

Negga (centre) with Loving director Jeff Nichols (left) and co-star Joel Edgerton at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

Negga has also provided voice acting in the video game Dark Souls II, playing Shanalotte, otherwise known as "the Emerald Herald". Shanalotte is a key character in the game, providing guidance to the player as well as permitting the player to develop their character in exchange for collected souls.

In 2013, it was announced that Negga had been booked for a recurring role as Raina on the American TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..[9][10] She appeared in 17 episodes of the programme.[7] In 2013, she appeared in Steve McQueen's Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave. In March 2015, Negga was cast in the role of Tulip O'Hare in AMC fantasy drama series Preacher, which debuted the following year.[11]

In 2016, Negga starred in Loving, which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and later screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.[12] The film is based on the true story of the Lovings, a married interracial couple in 1950s and 1960s Virginia, whose relationship lead to the Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia. Negga received rave reviews for the role.[7]

Personal life

Negga has been dating and living with actor Dominic Cooper in London since 2010.[7][13]


Negga was nominated as 2003's Most Promising Newcomer at the Olivier Awards.[2] She was chosen as Ireland's Shooting Star for the 2006 Berlin Film Festival.[5]




Year Title Role Notes
2004 Capital Letters Taiwo
2005 Stars Sophie Short film
2005 3-Minute 4-Play Woman Short film
2005 Breakfast on Pluto Charlie
2005 Isolation Mary
2005 Colour Me Kubrick Lolita
2006 The Four Horsemen Woman Priest Short film
2009 Corduroy Tess Short film
2010 Jacob
2010 Bleach Anne Short film
2011 Hello Carter Doctor Short film
2012 Fury Iris
2013 World War Z WHO doctor
2013 12 Years a Slave Celeste Deleted scenes
2013 Jimi: All Is by My Side Ida
2013 Things He Never Said Rachel Short film
2014 Noble Joan
2014 Of Mind and Music Jessica
2016 Loving Mildred Loving Palm Springs International Film Festival Rising Star Award
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Vituosos Award
Pending — Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress
Pending — Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
Pending — Satellite Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Gotham Award for Best Actress
2016 Warcraft Lady Taria, Queen of Stormwind


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Doctors Wanda Harrison Episode: "The Replacement"
2004 Love is the Drug Lisa Sheerin 4 episodes
2008 Criminal Justice Melanie Lloyd 5 episodes
2009 Personal Affairs Doris "Sid" Siddiqi 5 episodes
2010 Five Daughters Rochelle 3 episodes
2010–2011 Love/Hate Rosie 8 episodes
2010 Misfits Nikki 6 episodes
2010 The Nativity Leah 4 episodes
2011 Shirley Shirley Bassey Television film
2012 Secret State Agnes Evans 4 episodes
2013–2015 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Raina 17 episodes
2016–present Preacher Tulip O'Hare

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2014 Dark Souls II Shanalotte


External links

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