We were on the scene for the “Loving” NYC premiere.
The film written and directed by Jeff Nichols, starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, tells the story of the couple behind the famous Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia. The film follows Mildred Jeter and her husband Richard Loving on a roller coaster ride where their case ultimately legalizes interracial marriage.
We got the chance to catch up with some of the premiere goers and cast including Alano Miller, Terri Abney, Nick Kroll as they talk about collaborating with director Jeff Nichols, filming, what the movie means to them and more.
Don’t forget Loving comes out November 4!
|This is such and important film. Can you speak about your emotions when you first read the script?
Alano Miller: Oh man, I knew about the story. I immediately … just from the story. I said, “oh, I have to do this film.” It’s important. Of course I didn’t grow up around it, but I’ve heard stories about it from my parents. Having also been in an interracial relationship myself, I at the time, I heard about this Loving movement. It is this thing in me that wants to make sure that we keep expressing the simplicity of love. The way that Jeff wrote it, it wasn’t about the actual court case but it’s about this simple love, this simple joy and fight for our universal theme. I was blown away. I’m still in awe that I got to be apart of this. Every artist gets an opportunity in their lives to do something that’s so important and this is one of them.
|Speak about watching Joel transform for this.
Alano Miller: That’s awesome. I use to mess with him all the time. I use to say, “Joel could you speak up? I don’t know what you just said.” To watch him go from this Aussie to this brilliant Richard Loving was just such a pleasant surprise. I was in the midst of a great artist and a great human being. To work with him, to be on screen with him is just a joy. He gave me so much, and he was so generous and we hung out a lot. We really built that relationship of us being best-friends. That man to me is beyond. He’s so brilliant.
|What do you hope people take away when they watch the movie?
Alano Miller: That we all have this thing called love in us. Humanity is key and this speaks to our best selves.
|Tell me about collaborating with Jeff and what you admire about him as a filmmaker.
Terri Abney: I still cannot believe that I’ve been given the opportunity to collaborate with Jeff, to work with Mr. Nichols. He is one of the sweetest, nicest, kindest people I’ve ever worked with. He’s really an actors’, and actress’ director. He cares about us, and so he’s gentle, he’s subtle. Everything he touches turns to gold in terms of your performance. Its been a blessing.
|How was collaborating with Ruth and building that sister relationship?
Terri Abney: Out of this world, like Jeff but in her own way, Ruth is a sweetheart. She is a fabulous actress. I learned so much just being able to work with her and feed off of her energy. She gives so much, she brings so much to the table because she forces you to bring something to the table to try to match that energy that she has. She’s compassionate, and little, and a ball of energy.
|In the film, your relationship goes over many years. Can you speak about how the relationship evolves of the two characters throughout the years?
Terri Abney: Yeah, definitely. I think that the relationship doesn’t change, they still love each other the same. The only difference is, over the years when my character comes to DC, I’m excited to see my sister and I’m just talking because life for me is normal and I’m filling her in. She’s missing home. You see that, her longing to go back home. You also see us mature. We go from being young, country girls to women. Part of her picks up the energy, I think, of the city, and I think the city gives her the strength to fight even harder. Outside of that, I mean, you see my character get pregnant and life just goes on for me.
|Can you speak about why this is an important story today?
Terri Abney: It’s the state of the country and the world, I mean the wars. Outside of that, individuals within this country who are fighting for rights still. “Hands up, don’t shoot,” Black Lives Matter, individuals of the same sex and the LGBT community who just want to marry who they love, the Presidential Debate. Then you also have girls in other countries who are ten and nine years old still being sold off to men for marriage or being kidnapped into marriage, and raped, and sold into prostitution in other countries.
Terri Abney: Exactly, and in Atlanta. We need more love in the world.
|Tell me about immersing yourself into the legal side of this story.
Nick Kroll: Well, it was interesting for me because my character, weirdly, has to walk the story along, legally, what’s happening, which just felt like a weird pressure. It was like, “Ooh, I’ve got to say a lot of words here and I’ve got to keep everyone posted what’s happening legally,” but it gave such a clear sense of what was happening in the story. It was so exciting to just be able to help move the story along and keep everybody on the same page. I mean, it’s such a beautiful story and the performances are so amazing, that whatever I could do to be of service to it was truly an honor.
|Speaking of the performances, can you speak about watching Joel and Ruth transform? It’s just such a beautiful, powerful thing to watch on screen.
Nick Kroll: Man, it’s amazing. Ruth and Joel are both so talented and both of their performances are simultaneously really subtle and really powerful. I think I say more words in one scene than Joel says in the entire movie. Yet, every scene they’re doing so much work and they’re just like … Knowing them personally while making the movie, they’re really lovely, smart, vivacious people. Then, we’d start rolling and they would turn into these very, just a very different kind of person that’s also inside of them. Both of them I hope get recognized for how talented and truly tremendous as performers.
|Can you speak about collaborating with Jeff and what you admire about him as a filmmaker and a writer?
Nick Kroll: Yeah. Jeff Nichols, I’ve admired all of his films before this, and I’ve read the script and I was like, “Oh, I’ve seen the movie. He writes so clearly and visually.” Then watching him, how he works, he’s one of the rare people who is such a talented director, he doesn’t need to let you know that he’s talented at every stage. Shooting it and then the final product, he’s very understated in how he works, and yet he works with an amazing group of people who continue to work with him. It comes out in the product. The final product is this beautiful, lush, full, breathing organism. He’s just got such a fine, sure hand that it’s like a genuine rush to work with him.