I was super excited to read that Irish actress Ruth Negga has been cast as Nell Gwyn in the upcoming film Monstrous Beauty — and keep hoping some images will come out, but no dice (I’m not sure they’re actually filming yet?). Nonetheless, she’s starting to make a name for herself in frock flicks, so let’s see where her historical film career has taken her so far!
Leah in The Nativity (2010)
A BBC miniseries about the birth of Jesus. Per Wikipedia, “According to the scriptures, God saw that Leah was “unloved” and opened her womb as consolation. Through her sons Levi and Judah, she is thus the matriarch of both the priestly (Levite) and royal (Judahite) tribes in Israel.”
Shirley Bassey in Shirley (2011)
A BBC TV biopic about the life of singer Shirley Bassey, who sang many of the Bond themes.
Mildred in Loving (2016)
She plays Mildred Loving, a Black woman married to a white man in Virginia. Their 1967 legal case went before the Supreme Court and resulted in the end of anti-miscegenation (interracial marriage) laws. I tried to watch it on a plane and it was verrrrry slow for that, but Trystan liked it!
Clare in Passing (2021)
In this adaptation of Negga plays a 1929 novel, Negga plays a Black woman passing as white and how that affects her relationships.
What’s your favorite of Ruth Negga’s historical roles?