Friday, 31 January 2014

Beautiful Naomie on the front cover and is featured in New York Moves magazine







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NAOMIE HARRIS

THE FASHION & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR CITY WOMEN AND MEN


Written by Chesley Turnerphotography by Spencer HeyfronThese days, we prefer our stars complicated and multi-faceted.  We want accomplishment and poise. We want grace and wit. We want intelligence and motivation and depth, and we want it wrapped in a package of style and sex appeal and stunning good looks.
And that is why Naomie Harris is on the cover.
Because she’s more than the island witch woman from Pirates of the Caribbean. She’s more than the Bond franchise’s latest Moneypenny. Blockbusters may have put her in the mind of the masses, but she’ll stay there thanks to the tougher pieces she’s tackling.
“I’m a believer that change is possible; I’m always wanting more change. So [the movies I choose] are in tunewith my pro-progression, my sense of basically who I am. They deeply resonate with me.”
Naomie’s upcoming film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is going to shatter the line between action flick and biopic. This isn’t your 4th grade social studies class. Accomplishing the change that transformed South Africa was a tumultuous and difficult effort. The story of the man who took the helm is necessarily compelling. But morethan that, it’s recent.  Our own Civil Rights movement seemed almost old news by the time this story was really developing; Michael Jackson already had hit albums when the white bubble burst in South Africa.
Change is constantly happening, but at its own pace. Naomie, who was excited and terrified to take on the roll of Mandela’s famous wife, recognizes the subtleties of the change that he empowered. She relates a story from the book about Mandela’s life on Robben Island and his interaction with the prison guards. “He knew that in the beginning they would be very aggressive and not friendly at all, incredibly hostile to him. And he realized that was really as a result of lack of exposure to black people, and total ignorance. And not actually anything to do with him or even to do with his race. It was just that… they’d just been fed a diet of propaganda about who black people were.” Change took time, but it came. “He realized that by being in close proximity with these guards and building up a relationship with them and talking to them and them getting to know him, he broke down the barriers. They learned to see, not just him, but generally the Africans he was imprisoned with. And he saw these incredibly tough guards melt and become new people.”
South Africa has come a long way since apartheid was ended and the white and black pieces could begin to stitch themselves together for the first time.  But there is still a lot of ignorance and misunderstanding in the world. There is fear from nation to nation in how people see one another. Which is why, Naomie says, it is so great to live in a city. “I guess my idea is the same as Mandela’s: that it’s all about experiences and exposure.  And that’s why it’s great living in a city, because you are constantly with people from different races, from all over the world and you get the opportunity to see up close and personal that ultimately we are more similar than we are different.”
Mandela isn’t Naomie’s first foray into Sub-Saharan change stories. A few years back, she acted in The First Grader, as a teacher who joins the fight to let an 84-year-old man attend school for the first time. It is a true story that pleads everyone is entitled to a basic education. “I love the idea of being part of something that shows on a huge scale how change is possible, and how as an individual you can enact change and it affects so many people’s lives.  And how it is possible to make a change as an individual that affects a complete society, if not a whole country.” These change epics also require considerable acting chops. Stock characters need not apply. “Those kind of films enable me as an actress to really show the breadth of what I can do, and I find that challenging and also liberating and fascinating for myself as an actor.”
When next you see her, Naomie will be tackling the role of another liberating and fascinating woman: Winnie Mandela. Winnie is a modern icon to many. She’s still alive, and those who charted the course of South Africa’s recent history have watched her over the years. Her life is familiar, her actions well-documented, and her role in Mandela’s life was once virtually headline news. It is all but a straightforward role, and it was an exercise to portray. “I think the biggest thing for me was her anger and her resentment and her hatred because, for me, those are the kind of areas of myself that I try never to delve in. I always say that I don’t hate anybody and I don’t like to carry hatred.  And I think those are kind of really unattractive, base human emotions and feelings. I had to feel what it means to actively seek revenge, and to live with an immense amount of rage. And that, for me, was a revelatory experience, because I’ve never explored that side of myself, really. And it’s always painful, you know, when you act roles like that.”But to do a woman like Winnie justice, to make her story resonate and flesh out her reality, Naomie was tasked with hitting every rung on the emotional ladder. Because Winnie makes a journey in this story. “Most people don’t realize that she was not really a political being at all when she met Mandela.  She was only 21. She was very very young, and she was very naive and full of joy and full of life and very happy and successful as well.  You know, she was the first black social worker in Johannesburg.”  So prepare to strap in for a roller coaster ride that starts on the up and ends with a precipitous acceleration downward. “I think to see the transition from that into the warrior, the fierce warrior she becomes by the end of the movie… I think that’s a very interesting journey that most people aren’t aware of.”
Talent and looks and emotional depth she may have, but it’s Naomie’s grit and determination that make her relatable. She is a powerful woman on the rise who acknowledges her roots. “I was really lucky growing up actually, you know – in some respects unlucky because I didn’t have my father around – but in some respects that was a blessing as well because I saw my mum being both the man and the woman.  She had to be incredibly powerful and strong and resilient and resourceful.” This is the woman who raised the conscientious starlet. And the role modeling didn’t end there. “My aunts were very powerful, hard-working and very successful… I grew up really being encouraged to inhabit fully, you know, being powerful. And so it’s a shock when you enter the rest of the world outside your family and your extended family and you realize that women aren’t encouraged to do that, generally.”  The world outside the nest still supported the ignorance and the racism and the sexism that she hadn’t yet encountered. But, she says, she learned to play the game.  “Sometimes you kind of swallow your power in order to get where you need to get. It’s complex and complicated navigating [the gender divide] within the film industry, but the exciting thing is, I think, that really is changing. We’re seeing the emergence of more women’s voices and better roles for women, but it is slow.”
Change can be slow, and it still seems to be a man’s world. But in the city, a woman can realize her very own type of power. “As women, we have a helluva lot  of power. But I think both sexes are incredibly powerful and resourceful. It’s just that I think that society allows more room for the expression of that in men, and not so much in women.” When those ugly stereotypes of mandated-fragility and patronal obeisance rear their rotten heads, we have to keep striding forward, destination: modernity. “It makes for more interesting relationships between men and women and much more interesting society when both sexes can fully inhabit their power.”
Even as women are less and less often the disenfranchised, it’s still important to keep an eye out for those who need help. Naomie has the unique experience of being able to pay it forward. She supports a charity called Women’s Educational Trust, helping young girls and women access education. Just over a decade ago, she was on the receiving end. “When I went to drama school, I wasn’t able to afford the fee, and so I wrote to a lot of charities for help.” The Women’s Educational Trust helped support her as she attended Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. “And now I am a patron for that Trust…. Education generally is – for both sexes – hugely important to me, because that’s how you can make a huge difference in your life, and ultimately in the lives of other people.”  It’s the same story that she told in The First Grader. That true story really resonated with her own life, a life that has given her the opportunity to help others in the same way.
You know what else we want in our stars? Generosity and a sense of humanity. Check.

'Mandela:Long Walk To Freedom' launched in Berlin



'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' Blitzes Germany


Katie Melua on the red carpet / Videovision Entertainment (p)
Anant Singh, Idris Elba, Zindzi Mandela and Justin Chadwick / Videovision Entertainment (p)
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom was launched in Berlin with great fanfare with a series of events which 
included a benefit banquet for the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Monday night at which international singing 
sensation, Katie Melua and South African-German singer, Joy Denalane performed. This was followed by a 
gala premiere last night at which producer Anant Singhdirector Justin Chadwicklead actor Idris Elba
Nelson Mandela’s daughter, Zindzi Mandela and Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation 
represented the film.
The film was the first film to premiere at Berlin's historic Zoo Palast cinema since it re-opened in November 2013 
after a major renovation to restore the glory of the former Cold War-era theatre which was a cultural hub of the 
city. Among the VIP guests at the premiere were German celebrities, Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier
 and Oscar Nominee Armin Mueller-Stahl who starred in Singh’s production, The Long Run.
The film which has been dubbed in German, is distributed by Berlin-based Senator Film, and will be released 
across Germany on Thursday, 30 January on 280 screens.
“The reaction was amazing and the standing ovation all through the credits was incredible,” said producer, 
Anant Singh. “We are proud to be working with Senator Film in Germany and look forward to the opening 
tomorrow,” continued Singh.
South African Ambassador to Germany and former Minister of Sport and Recreation, Makhenkesi Stofile 
hosted a post premiere reception at the South African Embassy in Berlin in honour of the film.
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom continues to be released in major international territories and will be released
 this week in Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Nigeria and Ghana. This will be followed by releases in Hong Kong,
 Australia and Greece on 6 February, and then by Finland a week later and Turkey on 28 February.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' Screened At AU Summit



'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' Screened At AU Summit


African Union Heads of State Summit / AU (p)
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom screened at the African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, 
Ethiopia 
yesterday at the invitation of AU Commission chairwoman, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. The Intergenerational 
Youth Forum were special guests at the screening which took place ahead of the interaction they had with the 
Heads Of State earlier today.
In a message to the Intergenerational Youth Forum, producer Anant Singh said, "We are very honoured 
to have this screening for a very special group of young people from our continent. I know Madiba would 
have been delighted to have this screening as he has always supported initiatives which developed and 
mentored young people to be our future leaders. I hope that you will be inspired by the film and Madiba’s 
message, and that you will celebrate him and perpetuate his legacy as you develop into future leaders 
of our continent.”
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has already been released in key African countries, among which 
are Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. African countries releasing the film this week 
include Nigeria and Ghana as well as the international territories of Austria, Germany and New Zealand.
 This will be followed by releases in Hong Kong, Australia and Greece on 6 February, and then by 
Finland a week later and Turkey on 28 February.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom available on Blu-ray on March 18th

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Blu-ray

Posted January 28, 2014 04:18 PM by Webmaster 

The Weinstein CompanyThe Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment have officially announced the Blu-ray release of director Justin Chadwick's Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, starring Golden Globe Best Performance nominee Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and Naomie Harris as his wife, Winnie. The award-winning biopic arrives on Blu-ray on March 18th.

Synopsis: Nelson Mandela's extraordinary journey to becoming one of history's most iconic figures is brought to life in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. The film chronicles Nelson Mandela's early life, education, marriage and 27-year prison sentence before becoming South Africa's first democratically elected president. Working to rebuild the country's once segregated society, Mandela's greatest struggles lead to his greatest triumph.

The Blu-ray release of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is presented in 1080p with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround. Special features include:
  • Mandela: The Leader You Know, The Man You Didn't
  • Feature Commentary With Director Justin Chadwick
  • Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes
  • Tribute Video Gallery

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Priyanka Chopra vs Naomie Harris: Who Wore Alexander McQueen Better?

Priyanka Chopra vs Naomie Harris: Who Wore Alexander McQueen Better?

Naomie Harris and Priyanka Chopra in a Alexander McQueen strapless gown with beaded peplum (Photo courtesy | Alexander McQueen/Viral Bhayani)
Naomie Harris and Priyanka Chopra in Alexander McQueen (Photo courtesy | Alexander McQueen/Viral Bhayani)
How amazeballs did Priyanka Chopra look at the Filmfare Awards? Methinks that was her best look to date. British actress Noamie Harris also wore that black strapless gown with beaded peplum to the royal premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom last month – and guess what! She looked divine as well. I can’t pick between the two looks – how about y’all?
Who wore Alexander McQueen Better? VOTE HERE
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Monday, 27 January 2014

James Bond 24 and 25 Movie News: Films Will Build on Skyfall, Writer Says

James Bond 24 and 25 Movie News: Films Will Build on Skyfall, Writer Says

(Sony)

The James Bond 24 and 25 movies–which will again have feature cast members Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Craig, and Naomie Harris–will continue the themes and ideas in Skyfall.
“My goal is to write a great movie that’s appropriate, to build on what we did on Skyfall, but make it its own unique animal,” writer John Logan told IGN
“The themes, ideas and the characters from Skyfall can obviously continue on, because it is a franchise, and it is an ongoing story. So I think there’s resonance from Skyfall in the new movie.”
Neither of the films have a release date yet.
“I grew up on the Bond movies,” Logan said of his own connection to the Bond franchise. “The first one I saw was Diamonds Are Forever, when I was a kid. I just loved them to pieces. I love all the elements, from the books — mostly from the novels; going back to Ian Flemming is where I started with Skyfall — and there’s certainly elements of the movies and the novels that we’ve brought into the new movie, as they did into Skyfall.”
Craig will return as Bond while Harris will return as Miss Moneypenny.
Harris left hints of what to expect in the next two films in an interview with Total Film.
“I feel like Skyfall is one part of a continuing story,” the 37-year-old Brit said. “It needs completing and it needs the same storyteller.”
She also said that she enjoys working with Craig. 
“I really got on with Daniel,” she smiles. “It would be strange if someone else took the role. He’s a brilliant Bond for our times. And I’m so relieved [about director Sam Mendes returning]. He chose me and had a vision for my character.
“I’d feel really weird working for someone who hadn’t chosen me and didn’t have that vision. I just want him to see it through.”