I was blessed to interview the cast of Loving! Our interview consisted of Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, and Terri Abney along with Director Jeff Nichols!
Loving was a beautiful rollercoaster of emotion movie about a TRUE Love Story. It was beautifully written and lines and quotes from the movie were put in place were strong and influential! This is a TRUE story about an interracial couple in Virginia who were put in jail for marrying. Their case made it to the Supreme Court which changed the constitution! There are some great lessons to be learned from the movie!
The story was beautiful! I am shocked that this story isn’t taught in schools and mentioned during the Civil Rights units. The writing was amazing! There were tons of non-verbal emotions that mirrored some of the pictures of the actual Loving couple!
I really feel blessed to be a part of this movie press junket at the Four Seasons in LA! If you haven’t seen the movie be sure to go and see it in theaters! This movie is more than just a love story! There are some great conversations that will take place after seeing this film! There was not tons of dialogue in the movie, but the lines did create some great Loving movie quotes!
Loving Movie Interview
The movie lives in these quiet, introspective moments, especially in the performances and the direction. I’m wondering if it was more of a difficult challenge bringing these people to life when you don’t have that safety net of dialogue?
Joel: “I’m going to answer to this, this way. [LONG PAUSE] See what I did there?”
Jeff: “Oh, I get it, I get it.”
Joel: “I really learned something about…there was a lesson in that…one of the last roles I had done was very verbal. You allow the words to say so much, and you know, subtext obviously is very important but-but when-when you get all the words taken away from you, and you play a person who thinks a lot bit says very little, you have to be very focused on the specificity of what silence uh, is or means or is generated by um, or is a reaction to, w-what it’s a reaction to, and that, and that was a-a lot of concession that Jeff and I had on the days of shooting those certain scenes which was like, I guess in some way writing the speeches that weren’t being said, and having a very clear idea as to you know, for example, we talked a lot on-on the day we were shooting scene with Sheriff Brooks.
When he’s talking about a robin, a robin and a sparrow being a sparrow, and uh, about th-the energetic nature of the silence and what it meant and the-the dotting of I’s and looking for the door and wanting-wanting to kind of get out and, but-but at the frustration and-and-and trying to form words. All those different reasons that could be behind silence. So it actually became real joy and focus and a lesson to take on to other projects I think for me. But Jeff was very specific in the screenwriting, um, that meant that it wasn’t as big a mystery as it could be in the hands of somebody else, because you know, there weren’t a lot of words of dialogue on the page, but y-you knew exactly what was going on.”
Do you find it intimidating to play a role of a true story?
Terri: “Yeah, I mean, I would have to say definitely you want to do the character justice, you want to honor their legacy, and you want to tell the truth and so it is intimidating…For me was just to rise to the occasion, and that happened by doing the homework and knowing uh, knowing the time period, the era and then really understanding the relationship that I had with all the other characters.”
Joel: “And I think it narrows the field of options you know, that the…easy part of it is that it narrows the field of options, you don’t have to create a character out of nothing. You don’t have to draw any picture on a blank page, you’re told what picture to draw. But the challenge, or the difficulty becomes putting the pressure on yourself to-to do it and to go beyond…I think for Ruth and I, having so much archival footage, it’s like, the risk is you just end up acting in a bubble ‘cause you-you’re concentrating on the way you sound and the way your posture has changed, and the way you move and that it becomes an impression or mimicry but it has to go beyond that.”
To be-to serve the movie. And the real key was not so much the characters, but like-like Terri’s pointing out too, the relationships between the characters. Particularly for-for Ruth and I to-to harness the energy of a relationship that again, wasn’t our creation so much as a combination of us working with-with-with a very detailed laid out plan in the screenplay that Jeff had written.
What was it like to work in the real life surroundings of the Caroline County?
Jeff: “It was the first place I went. And some important things happened. One, you know, I’m going to the courthouse that they were tried in, I’m going to the jail where they were held. All of which were used in the film. I’m going to the home that they lived in, hiding in. Which was about a three minute walk from the field, in the film where he proposes…there’s a responsibility that is so tactile because you’re walking literally in their footsteps, I mean they’re standing in front of um, you know, the-the judges bench, that Richard and Mildred stood in front of. That can’t help but uh, remind you that these aren’t characters in a movie.”
We learned that the Lovings were humble and not activist. How would have acted if you yourself was in the same position as the Lovings?
Ruth: “I’m not sure actually because it’s considering the time…The time they were living in it was a time of extraofdinary tension…So I would like to hope that I would. People admired this couple because of their tenacity and perseverance in the face of you know the institution…”
I think it would be great for everyone to see. But I kept thinking about was how this would affect people between the ages of twelve and 18. So what would you like people in that age group to take away from the movie?
Jeff: “…I think the message for kids is probably the same message for adults, uh, it’s a pretty universal one. Which is the idea that you need to remember the people at the center of all these issues you know, uh, if these kids go home and they hear their parents having political debates or religious debates, whatever it is, those so often don’t have anything to do with people…”
Joel: “Yeah, my-my niece is only eight, she couldn’t care less about any of the movies I’ve ever done. …Well, she asked her mother would it be okay, would she be allowed to see this movie? And I think there’s something that she’s curious about in it. Sh-she’s a product of uh, of a you know, interracial couple…I think she can see it. And I think that in many ways, children, I think will view this and probably look at us and go, well what was the problem?… Yeah, ‘cause at some point, I think children do see color and they do see otherness. I used to say the opposite, eh, the children don’t see color. I think they do. They just don’t know how to value judgement in a negative fashion to it. Someone has to teach them that.
Terri: “Yeah. I think that it’s interesting that this story isn’t taught in schools, and uh, I did my last year of high school in Virginia, and so I learned about it in Virginia history, but before that, I never learned about it in DC and I didn’t learn about it in college…They wanted to go home, they wanted to be with their family, and they were extremely brave, you know, they risked everything for love…And so if we as people just love a little more, you know, every day, like, if I decide to get up in the morning and maybe do a-an act of generosity, or smile at someone, we can change the world…”
I would love to hear um, why each of you decided to take upon your role in the…kind of what drew you to your part?
Each of them pretty much answered with EVERYTHING and about how great of a story Loving is!
From acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols, LOVING celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (portrayed by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since.
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, Terri Abney, Alano Miller, Jon Bass, and Michael Shannon
Written and Directed By: Jeff Nichols
Distributor: Focus Features
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Now playing in theaters!