Words by Diedre Johnson
With last year’s World War Z to her credit and a recurring role in TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., UK actress Ruth
Negga is jumping into the big league starring as Tulip O’Hare in Preacher, a cult comic book turned TV series, set to debut in the US in late May.
The show stars Dominic Cooper, most recently seen on another Marvel series, the period detective drama Agent Carter. Cooper, who also happens to be Negga’s real-life boyfriend, will be her ex-boyfriend on Preacher.
TV SOAP caught up with the busy actress to discuss her role, her exotic background and what it feels like co-starring with Cooper in what may be the next hit TV show adapted from a comic.
You’re starring in a series that was a graphic novel. Did you ever read comics?
I wasn’t an avid fan but I grew up with lots of boy cousins who were avid fans. When I read the Preacher comics this time around, they were very familiar to me. I kind of like their boldness in both senses of the word.
If this series does well, you’re going to blow up huge in the United States, be very well known.
Yes, that’s what people tell me. That side of it is unknown to me and slightly scary, terrifying, but listen, I am grateful.
You’ve been in World War and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Is this a genre you like or is particular this just w ere you’ve gotten work?
It was never my intention but just happens to be what I’ve gotten but I feel very privileged and lucky to have gotten it. I love to work and I love the world and the fans. Comic fans are the most loyal fans in the world. When they’re happy, they are very happy. That’s passion.
What do you bring to this role that is a part of you not a part of what they described the character to be?
I played with a lot of boys as a kid, so just the kind of idea that ‘l can do anything they can do
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has given us a new girl hero Rey played by Daisy Ridley do you feel a part of that?
I think something is happening. We’re moving forward at a quicker pace than we over have before and it’s sort of undeniable and unstoppable. I’m very excited. It’s sort of OK now to have female characters that are complex and contradictory, like men have been portrayed for eons.
I know you don’t use it on screen but sometimes your Irish brogue comes out very strong and sometimes it doesn’t.
I was born in Ethiopia and raised there until I was four and then grew up in Limerick. So when I go home it gets stronger. I went to secondary school in London then went back to Dublin to Trinity [College] to train [Negga has a BA in acting studies] and lived there for a while and then came back to London. So it’s all over the place, really, and it comes out when I am nervous.
But it’s very important to get accents right so people hear it but a lot of us at this stage have had lives so there’s not just one way of doing it.
How aware were you of our Preacher co-stars Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg before working with them?
Oh, very. I’ve seen them. You have to put aside [preconceptions] when you work with the same people you’ve seen on TV and you quickly realize that people are human beings. They’re nice or they’re not. [Rogen and Goldberg] are lovely.
You have great style. How do you put it together?
Well, I don’t have a stylist and I think I should like to get a stylist because I feel very nervous and I feel like … so much energy goes into how to dress and usually I look like a lump in pyjamas!
Now in Preacher you are starring with, and I quote The Guardian UK, your “paramour” in the show.
Yeah, Dom [Dominic Cooper], we’ve worked together before and it’s such a pleasure because you’re working with someone who cares about your performance and cares about you and is hugely supportive. We know each other and we’re pros at it and it’s lovely. TVS