Naomie Harris

Mandela: A Long Way to Freedom, 28 Days Later, Spectre, Skyfall, Southpaw


As a child, what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?

I always knew as a child that I wanted to be an actress. My mother thankfully listened to my dream, and helped me enormously by enrolling me at a local drama school called The Anna Scher Theatre School, from there I got my fist acting job at the age of 9 which left no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be an actress.

How did your friends/family react when you told them you wanted to become an actress?

My mum was incredibly supportive and always told me that I could be anything I wanted to be. Friends and family weren’t so supportive however, and feared that I wouldn’t be able to make a living as an actress.

It's been over a decade since "28 Days Later", why do you think it has become such a favourite, and a classic?

Largely because of the brilliant direction by Danny Boyle that had everyone who watched it on the edge of their seats.

Who inspires you in the industry?

I’m constantly inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s authentic voice, as well as her constant search for truth and meaning; and her desire to be the best human being she can be.


What has been your greatest accomplishment so far:

The two roles that I’m most proud of having played are Winnie Mandela and Tia Dalma.

What aspects of your job do you like best/least?

I love the feeling of losing myself completely and becoming someone else. I dislike the constant traveling, as I’m a real home body.

What brings you the greatest joy?

The times I’m happiest are when I’m with my family and friends, eating great food, and laughing. I love to laugh.

How do you bounce back from a personal defeat?

I have to admit to not being great at bouncing back from personal defeat as I hate to fail or lose at anything I set my mind to. I’m very lucky to have a small group of highly intelligent, and hugely supportive friends that I turn to for advice and support when I’m feeling a bit bruised by life, they always make me feel better and give me a different perspective on what I’m experiencing. They also challenge me, which I really appreciate as I’d hate for them to just tell me what I want to hear, instead they tell me the truth as they see it…. often not what I want at the time, but ultimately it’s always exactly what I need to grow and heal.

What is the one thing you wish you had known when you were younger?

I wish I’d had the life experience I have now… but you only get that with time, so I don’t think I could give that to my younger self.

What is your motto?

Anything is possible

Any advice for those wanting to become actors?

Only do it if you absolutely can’t dream of doing anything else. I truly believe acting is a calling, not a choice.

Any last words?

These were really interesting questions… not the usual expected ones that I’ve answered a million times! Thank you for challenging me!! 


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