Meryl Streep praises Limerick's rising star Ruth Negga at Golden Globes

Actress misses out on Globe award, but has Baftas and Oscars still to come

Anne Sheridan


Anne Sheridan

Meryl Streep praises Limerick's rising star Ruth Negga at Golden Globes

Ruth Negga at the Globes and below, with her cousin Dave Malone

THERE may well be a new 'Queen of Limerick' as Ruth Negga – the first from the Treaty City to touch Hollywood stardom since Limerick's famous thespian Richard Harris – continues to reap award nominations.

While Negga, 35, missed out on winning a Golden Globe award for best actress on Sunday night for her role in the critically acclaimed film Loving, further accolades are in the pipeline, with her being nominated for a Rising Star award in the upcoming BAFTAS in February, while she is also tipped to be a contender for an Oscar for best actress at the Academy Awards.

Hollywood heavyweight Meryl Streep didn’t overlook Negga in her politically charged speech at the Globes on Sunday night, delivered whilst accepting the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Speaking about the ethnic mix of the elite in attendance, and their diverse backgrounds, she said: "And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and raised in Ireland, and she's here nominated for playing a small-town girl from Virginia."

Wearing a long metallic zip-up dress by Louis Vuitton, fashion bible Vogue magazine hailed their January edition cover star as a runaway success on the red carpet - where her Limerick cousin Dave Malone was again by her side, having also accompanied her to the Cannes film festival last year.

Hollywood super-stylist Karla Welch was drafted in in recent months to hone the experimental yet elegant look for Negga, which had her growing coterie of fans abuzz on Twitter last night.

"It's a custom piece made in the very special atelier in Paris. Nicolas Ghesquiere [Vuitton's creative director] designed the dress for her," Ms Welch told the Telegraph, who described the finished creation as "a work of art". 

"It's a combination of rose gold,  yellow gold and silver paillettes- they were all sewn by hand and it took 120 hours to make," she said.

British fashion stylist Gok Wan also tweeted praise: "I just adore this dress worn by Ruth Negga at the golden globes last night! Vuitton strikes again."

In addition to appearing on the cover of US Vogue, she has also graced the front cover of the New York Times magazine recently.

Among her cousins in Limerick is Peter Malone, who has played rugby with Bruff, St Munchin's, Garryowen, Munster, and who is now Munster Rugby's elite player development manager. 

Ruth’s mother Nora lives in London, after moving from Limerick, but she still has a wide circle of aunts, uncles and cousins living in the Dooradoyle area, and is a frequent visitor to Limerick.

Negga, an only child, was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she lived until she was four, where her mother worked as a nurse and met Negga's father. He died in a car accident when she was just seven.

She went to national school in Roxborough, and later spent part of her secondary school at Scoil Carmel on O’Connell Avenue, before moving to London and completing her drama studies at Trinity College Dublin.

Her breakout role was in Neil Jordan’s 2004 film Breakfast on Pluto, followed by Ophelia at the National Theatre, the Misfits TV series on E4, amongst others. 

The former Love/Hate star, who also played Shirley Bassey in an acclaimed BBC drama, stars in the big screen in Loving, which tells the true story of an illegal inter-racial marriage in 1950s Virginia and stars Joel Edgerton as Richard Loving with Negga playing his wife, Mildred. 

The couple battled before the Supreme Court in 1967 for their right to live together as husband and wife.