Naomie Harris: My baby brother was the best contraception … but now, aged 37, I’m ready to have a child
Published: 12 December 2013
Naomie Harris has revealed that she was desperate for a baby at 20 but held off and is now ready to start a family aged 37.
The Skyfall actress called her baby brother “the best form of contraception ever” as he quelled her broodiness at a time when she believes she was not ready to become a mother.
She said: “Age 20 I was so broody. I’d left home. I was studying at Cambridge. I wanted a child. I’m so glad I had a baby brother, because otherwise I’d have had a child at 20.
“He was the best form of contraception ever because I realised you’ve got to be seriously ready for a complete life overhaul. Babies suck energy and time, and you’ve got to be ready to give all of that up. I wasn’t back then. I definitely feel ready now.”
Harris, who stars in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom as the leader’s second wife Winnie, is fiercely private and will not confirm whether she is even in a relationship.
At last year’s Baftas and the Cannes Film Festival in May she was arm-in-arm with a mystery man, known only as Peter.
She told ES magazine: “I was told very early on not to talk about relationships and I think it’s great advice because it’s all very well when things are going well.
Praising her friend, fellow actress Thandie Newton, she added: “She’s pregnant with her third child now and she’s really successful. From talking to people, having a baby actually makes you a better actor.”
Harris paid tribute to the former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela, who died on the same night as the London premiere of his biopic.
The actress, from Finsbury Park, said: “People want to make him a saint and he’s always said, ‘I’m not, I’m a man, like every other man.’
“And I think that makes what he achieved even more extraordinary. Because to overcome your baser levels of what it means to be a human — the desire for revenge, anger — and to offer the world the example of true forgiveness is extraordinary.”
In the movie, she plays Winnie from the ages of 21 to 58 and says she escaped the spotlight as all eyes were on co-star Idris Elba as Mandela.
She added: “I was really lucky. All the attention went on Idris because he’s playing Mandela and it is Mandela’s story.
“Everyone had so much to say about ‘Should he be playing it, he’s English, is he the right actor?’ that I managed to slip under the radar.”
Read the full interview in tomorrow’s ES Magazine