Naomie Harris is a British actress best known for her roles in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ’28 Days Later’, and ‘James Bond – Skyfall’. Born to a Jamaican mother and Trinidadian father, Harris attended Pembrook College, Cambridge where she obtained a degree in Social and Political Sciences. But politics were not the only thing Naomie was interested in and, shorty after graduating, she began attending Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Inspired by her mother, who was a screenwriter on ‘EastEnders’, Harris was always surrounded by creative people and inspiring artists. Now pursuing her own career in the film industry, Harris landed her first role in 2002 for the film ’28 Days Later’.
Harris didn’t suddenly graduate from university and decide to become an actress. In fact, her earliest debut was a television series by the name of Simon and the Witch in 1987. She spent the next 15 years on the small screen honing her skills through various series such as ‘Runaway Bay’, ‘Dream Team’, and ‘White Teeth‘ to name a few. With over 13 different appearances over the course of her career on the small screen, Harris has become a well-recognized and established actress.
Breaking into the film industry, Harris launched herself onto the big screen in 2002 portraying Selena in the post-apocalyptic horror flick ’28 Days Later’, directed by Danny Boyle. Since then, Naomie Harris has also starred in a variety of other box office hits including roles as Tia Dalma in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, Detective Trudy Joplin in ‘Miami Vice’, Angela Rivera in ‘South Paw’ and even Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond film ‘Skyfall’.
As the first black Money Penny, Harris recalls the impact of this role and how it changed her career telling Elle Magazine, “It’s made a huge difference to my career,” Harris says, “And I’m really really grateful for that. Because, ultimately, this is a franchise that is globally recognized, which means–me being part of it–I’m now globally recognized. So film financiers see me in a totally different light.”
One of her most prominent roles to date has been the portrayal of Winnie Mandela, opposite Idris Elba, in the biopic Mandela. In an interview with The Telegraph, Harris revealed that the role “terrified” her, stating, “This woman is like seven different women in one.” Ultimately, her brilliant depiction paid off as Winnie Mandela found Harris’ portrayal to be splendid.
Television and film are not the only medium that Noamie Harris uses to express herself, and she has actually participated in two different video games, ‘The Fable III’, a role-playing action game and the adaptation of Skyfall in ‘007 Legends’. Of course acting in a video game doesn’t require an “on-screen” appearance, instead it is more of a voice-over role that allows one to portray a virtual character, but regardless, she has added another notch to add to her acting belt.
Awards and Recognition
As you can imagine, with such a long and impressive resume, Naomie Harris has had her fair share of nominations and awards. Her first nomination was for her work in ‘White Teeth’ where she was recognized as Best Performance by an Actress for the Golden Nymph Awards. One year later, in 2004, Harris won her first award as Best Breakthrough Performance for her role as Selena in ‘28 Days Later‘. Toss in a Glamour Award and Essence Award, Noamie Harris continues to fill up her trophy case for her performances.
Naomie Harris continues to have a successful career as an actress, starting off with her young performances on the small screen to breaking the mold of Money Penny in the James Bond flicks to even performing in a few video games and theater performances. As we continue to watch this talented artist work her way through the film industry, excited fans can’t wait to see what new and innovative role she will play in her next blockbuster.