Naomie Harris Born September 6, 1976. Starred as Selena~28 Days Later, Tia Dalma/Calypso~2nd+3rd Pirates of the Caribbean, Eve Moneypenny in Skyfall and SPECTRE.Winnie Mandela in Mandela:Long Walk to Freedom.Southpaw, Our Kind of Traitor,Moonlight (Oscar Nominee) plus Collateral Beauty and Jungle Book (2018)
IGN Exclusive: Skyfall Train interview with Naomie
IGN Exclusive: New James Bond @TillyTweets on the #skyfalltrain with Naomie Harris. Spoiler-heavy Q&A to follow...
Naomie Harris Discusses The Future of Miss Moneypenny
The actress talks about her memorable role in Skyfall.
by Chris Tilly
FEBRUARY 19, 2013
While attending the launch of the newly branded Skyfall train - which travels from London to Edinburgh to celebrate the success of the latest Bond film - we grabbed the chance to sit down with Naomie Harris and have a chat about her role as Miss Moneypenny in the film.
When the film hit cinemas the nature of her role was a secret, so to coincide with the Blu-ray and DVD release of the film this week, the actress has finally been allowed to talk about taking on the iconic role as well as the future of the character...
IGN: When did you find out that your character Eve is, in fact, Miss Moneypenny?
Naomie Harris: I found out at the third audition. So for the first two auditions I interviewed using scenes from previous Bond movies. Like the train scene in Casino Royale. And then in the third audition I worked with a scene from Skyfall. And then [director] Sam [Mendes] and [producer] Barbara [Broccoli] sat me down and explained that the character was not quite what she seemed. That there were a few twists and turns, and that she was Miss Moneypenny. And they asked me how I felt about that and I was excited already, but then I was even more excited.
IGN: How long did you have to keep that fact a secret?
Harris: Well not even during press when it was being launched in November. So it’s only now really that I can actually talk about it.
IGN: did you have any close shaves?
Harris: No, not at all. I was very good.
IGN: Why is now right time to bring the character back?
Harris: I think because Skyfall is about going back to the grass-roots of Ian Fleming. And Moneypenny is a big part of that. So it’s about bringing back all those old elements. Having more humour. Bringing back the classic Bond villain. And then re-vamping them. Making them modern and giving them a modern twist.
IGN: Did you study the previous Moneypennys?
Harris: I totally wanted to ignore that. They said to me that one of the things they wanted and one of the reasons I was being cast was for a breath of fresh air with the character. And so they wanted something very modern and fresh and original. And so I thought that if I went back and watched all those things I’m going to get influenced to play it like that, and I didn’t want to do that. But also I grew up watching Bond movies, and so it’s not like I really needed to go back and watch them. They were still engrained in my mind.
IGN's Chris Tilly speaks to Naomie Harris on the Skyfall train.
IGN: Have you met the actresses who previously played the character?
IGN: Did you discuss playing such an iconic character?
Harris: Do you know what, we have only seen each other at events and said ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ and not really had a proper chat. That’s a good point – next time I see her I’m going to have a proper chat with her about it!
IGN: Apart from the obvious action in the field, how is your Moneypenny different from the previous incarnations?
Harris: Well they were always really feisty, and a kind of equal to Bond. But I suppose you’re missing the maternal elements. There was always a bit of a maternal thing going on as well as the flirtation with the previous Moneypennys. Mainly it’s that she’s not only an equal intellectually, but she also has that awareness of the field as well, which means they share even more and have a greater bond because of that.
IGN: Rumours have recently been circulating that Sam Mendes might return to direct the next instalment – would you like to see him back?
Harris: I’d definitely like to see him direct another one – I think most people would as well. He brought a breath of fresh air. He’s a fan of the movies first and foremost. So he wanted to deconstruct it, but in an incredibly sensitive way. And he wanted to go back to the grass-roots of Bond, and make sure that he had those classical elements, and make more of a feature of them as well as putting a modern twist on them. I love the fact that he was respectful of Ian Fleming as well as respectful of the fact that Bond has to respect the times. And be modern. He was able to do that, which sounds easy but isn’t. It’s walking a very thin tightrope.
IGN: With Moneypenny potentially being a recurring character again, have you signed up for multiple films?
Harris: I can’t really talk about that – I need to find out what the situation is.
IGN: How about a hypothetical then – if the character returns for Bond 24, what would you like to see her doing?
Harris: Well, she’s ended up behind a desk, so I think the natural thing is to explore that for a while. But then maybe get back out in the field and make amends because she messed up pretty badly. It would be nice to see her shown as capable, because she is a capable field agent. It was just very difficult circumstances taking that shot. Which everyone likes to bring up and take the mickey out of me about.
IGN: Why did you take the shot?
Harris: Because she told me to! Because she said ‘Take the bloody shot!’
IGN: What about the idea of Moneypenny teaming up with Bond and M in the field?
Harris: Yeah, that would be really cool I definitely think getting back into the field would be a really good idea. But I didn’t even think of doing it with M as well.
IGN: You could form a Mission: Impossible-style team.
Harris: I hadn’t even thought of that. I like it. Have a word with the writers!
MGM and Twentieth Century Fox release Skyfall on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on Monday 18 February.
Chris Tilly is the Entertainment Editor for IGN in the UK and his poor excuse for banter can be found on both Twitter and MyIG