Naomie Harris is a British actress who began taking acting courses at Bristol Old Vic Theater School, even though she had done some acting in her childhood, in order to pursue her passion more seriously after graduating from Cambridge in 1989.
Most recently she has appeared in Spectre, the latest James Bond film and the follow-up to Skyfall, in which she made her first appearance as Eve Moneypenny. She was first noticed by Skyfall director Sam Mendes in the role of Elizabeth Lavenza in Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein at the National Theater in London.
Taking on the iconic role of Moneypenny, Harris sought to develop the character “from Bond fangirl to independent woman.” “Instead of submitting to Bond’s charms, the way many of the franchise’s female characters do without any real agency of their own, Harris’s Moneypenny has her own life.” Carrying this sentiment forward, Harris recently expressed her frustrations over the fact that women in the film industry are frequently paid less than their male counterparts.
Harris’ adaptation of Moneypenny represents a stark departure from the series’ overall portrayal of women, which has been deemed outdated and misogynistic by many, including Daniel Craig who currently occupies the titular role. Harris is also the first black woman to play Eve Moneypenny, out of six actresses total.
Being attached to the globally-recognized Bond franchise has also generated more of a demand for her as an actress, as she’s noted, drawing in direct offers for upcoming roles, rather than requiring a string of auditions. These include the upcoming films Our Kind of Traitor (2016) and Collateral Beauty (2016). Other high-profile roles in her roster include playing Winnie Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), the sea goddess Calypso in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), and Selena in 28 Days Later (2002).