Australian actor Joel Edgerton sees Loving, the new biographical film in which he stars, as quite different from a typical civil rights movie.
Anglophenia’s Tom Brook caught up with Edgerton at the NYC premiere last week, where the actor said, “There’s something very gentle about it.”
It’s a movie which reflects the fortitude of one real-life couple, wed in 1958, who stand up against the ban on interracial marriage in their home state of Virginia. The movie shows that the strength in their battle to win justice comes largely from their love for one another.
“There’s something unstoppable about a powerful and positive energy and force of love, and the movie speaks a lot to that,” says Edgerton.
The couple at the heart of the story are Richard Loving, played by Edgerton, who was white, and his African-American wife Mildred, portrayed by Ruth Negga (Preacher). Their challenge to Virginia’s prohibition on interracial marriage went all the way to the Supreme Court. They emerged triumphant with a 1967 landmark ruling which deemed laws prohibiting interracial marriage unconstitutional.
Edgerton is firm in his position on civil rights, suggesting that those who hinder liberties today may find their actions documented by filmmakers down the road.
He elaborates on that thought, saying, “We look at stories, current stories today, and anybody who stands in the way of equality, or anyone who stands in the way of change, will be the villains of the next movie.”
It’s not just Edgerton who thinks so. Loving is part of a cluster of films dealing with racism, or African-American struggles, to have arrived in cinemas in recent weeks, including The Birth of a Nation, 13th, and Moonlight. To many this isn’t just a coincidence, it’s a reflection of topical concerns reaching critical mass.
Edgerton believes there is a reason for this, saying, “It just happens that filmmakers are always reacting to what’s going on in the news, and ‘otherness’ and equality, it’s just a prevalent topic.”
Loving has been earning some excellent reviews and Edgerton, Negga, and writer/director Jeff Nichols are all being mentioned as possible contenders in next year’s Oscars race.
You can watch the full interview below:
Loving opens in U.S. cinemas on Friday November 4, 2016.
What’s your takeaway from this story of bringing change?