Director Jeff Nichols has never had an easier time titling a movie. The filmmaker’s latest project, Loving, follows the real-life couple (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) whose union led the Supreme Court to strike down laws prohibiting interracial marriage. The couple’s last name — which all you law students already know — was, amazingly, Loving.
And that prompted a serious question we asked of Nichols (whose credits also include Take Shelter and Midnight Special) and his cast: Was the surname purely a coincidence, or the sign of a higher power?
“I’m not a very superstitious person,” Edgerton told Yahoo Movies (watch above) about the couple at the center of the landmark 1958 cast, Loving v. Virginia. “But I believe Richard and Mildred were kind of fated.”
Negga agreed. “I can’t not think that they weren’t fated for this,” said the Irish actress. “There were a lot of couples beforehand that had gone through this, and yet it was them. You can’t help but think it’s kind of a perfect storm.”
Terri Abney, who plays Mildred’s disapproving sister, Garnet, sees it as divine intervention. “Even though they didn’t want to carry that torch, they had no choice but to,” she said. “And they did it gracefully.”
“I was reading [so much] about it, Loving v. Virginia, and you read it to the point where it almost takes the meaning out of the word. It just became this legal term,” Nichols admitted. “It felt like an appropriate title to reclaim some humanity around the term.”
Loving is now playing in select theaters.