When Danny Boyle cast Naomie Harris as Selena in British horror film 28 Days Later, she was relatively unknown – a status that couldn’t be said now. Since her 2002 appearance as the cropped-haired zombie fighter, Harris hasn’t had more than two consecutive days off. And the growing profile of the 36-year- old, who has been acting since she was nine, is set to reach further heights at the end of this month, when she will appear alongside Daniel Craig in Skyfall, the latest film in the James Bond franchise.
We caught up with Londoner Harris at her shoot for The Hunger, where we found her showing off her defined abs in a Prada ensemble.
Did you see the Queen’s performance in the Bond spoof for the Opening Ceremony of London 2012?
I did, yes – it was brilliant! They did such a great job and the Queen was amazing. She is a great actress, she only needed one take, I heard. Also, it was such a surprise – I didn’t know anything about it.
I’m surprised you hadn’t heard, being that the two men involved – Daniel Craig and Danny Boyle – are past colleagues of yours.
Did Danny direct it? I knew he directed the opening ceremony, but I didn’t know he did that. It was brilliant.
The Queen always carries a Launer handbag containing a mirror, lipstick, a crisply folded £5 note, reading glasses, mint lozenges and a fountain pen. What do you carry in your bag?
Oh my gosh, so much! I couldn’t even begin to tell you what’s in my bag, and if you saw the size of my bag, you wouldn’t want me to because I would bore you – it’s massive. I just carry my life in it, especially if I’m going to shoots. I’m Miss Cautious, so even if the sun’s out I’ll carry an umbrella because I know London. I’ve always got an extra pair of socks or extra pair of gloves. I just carry everything in my bag.
Do you remember how you felt when you were told you had the part in Skyfall?
I remember clearly; I was in Washington promoting another film. I was told just before I went in to announce the screening of this other film that I was doing it, and I was told that I couldn’t tell anybody. I was so over the moon that I wanted to scream and shout and tell everybody but I could only tell my friends and close family. There was no one around that I could share it with so I broke the agreement a bit and told the director and one of the producers that I was with because I just couldn’t keep it to myself.
Who was the first person that you told after that?
I rang home and I told my mum. It’s always your mum that you tell first.
Tell us about Eve, the character you play in Skyfall.
Eve is a field agent. She’s very capable, she’s very ambitious and when you see her at the start of the movie her aim really is to be a female version of Bond.
Read more of this interview in Issue 3, out on the 11th of October 2012, subscribe here.