Monday, September 3, 2012

Ethiopian Born Actress Ruth Negga : My heritage has stopped me from winning Hollywood roles

Adventure ... Ruth has appeared alongside legends like Samuel L Jackson and Irish icon Gabriel Byrne

LOVE/HATE star Ruth Negga has claimed her exotic heritage has stopped her from winning Hollywood roles.
The Limerick babe, who was born in Ethiopia to an Ethiopian father and Irish mum, revealed her diverse background proves a difficulty for casting bosses.

Ruth, 30, enjoys a successful career on this side of the pond after starring in Misfits, Love is the Drug and a BBC biopic of Shirley Bassey.

But the rising star confessed Tinseltown is an uphill struggle.

Ruth said: “I’ve never had actual feedback that this was the reason I didn’t get a part, no-one’s ever said to my face that was the reason. But I’m sure it’s been the case.

“I’ve gone into auditions and I think they have an assumption about me when they see my photo and then I open my mouth and they say, ‘Where exactly are you from? And you were born in Ethiopia? But you’re Irish, but you also kind of sound English. That’s really strange.’”

She added: “They want to put you in a box in LA, that’s how they tend to do it there, so if you don’t fit in that box, it makes it more difficult.”

The petite brunette, who played Rosie in Love/Hate, earned an army of fans thanks to the hit RTE drama.
And she joked some are more complimentary than others.

She said: “I could be walking in Dublin and I’ll hear behind me, ‘There’s the girl from Love/Hate, that’s Rosie. God, she’s much prettier on the TV.’

“I’m thinking, ‘Eh, thanks a lot.’ And I’ve had people talking to me like I am Rosie and I just go along with it. It’s bizarre but wonderfully bizarre.”

Ruth won’t be returning for the new series of Love/Hate because she’s too busy with movies.

She will star in the Jimi Hendrix biopic, All Is By My Side, filmed in Dublin, and the historical epic Twelve Years A Slave with Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt.

She said: “I’m getting some really fantastic opportunities lately and I’m grabbing them with both hands because you never know how long it will last. Enjoy everything in the now.

“It’s been going great the last couple of years, I just hope it continues this way. But who knows.”

Ruth recently saw a dream come true after landing a role opposite Samuel L Jackson in thriller Fury.

But she admitted her love scenes with the Pulp Fiction legend left her a bag of nerves.

She revealed: “He is just the nicest, most decent individual you could work with and I swear, the first day I met him on set, I was speechless.

“I grew up watching Pulp Fiction I don’t know how many times. And then I have to do an intimate scene with Samuel L Jackson. That was nerve-wracking, but you know what, he’s an actor, I’m an actor.

“You have to put it out of your mind just how huge a star he is. And there’s seriously no airs or graces with him, completely down to earth.

“I never ever thought I would be doing such close scenes with someone like Samuel, I mean you really have to pinch yourself and ask, ‘Is this really happening?’”

Ruth Negga performs on stage as Dame Shirley Bassey
Ruth will soon star alongside Gabriel Byrne in political Channel 4 drama Coup and was hugely impressed with Gabriel. She said: “Working with Gabriel was like an acting workshop and I was struck dumb on our first meeting.

“This makes me sound like I’m a quivering wreck my first day on any set but come on, it’s Gabriel Byrne. It’s impossible not to fall in love with him.

“So Samuel and Gabriel, if I work with no one else I’ll die happy.”