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)
NAOMIE, 38, plays Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond movies and has starred in the Pirates Of The Caribbean series, 28 Days Later and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom as Winnie Mandela. She lives in north London.
'My greatest weakness is probably my inability to say no'
Not a lot of people know this but I’m very good at… Gyrotonic, which I’m obsessed with. It’s a mixture of yoga, Pilates and qigong and you do it on a machine – I have my own at home. It’s great at strengthening and lengthening the body.
My best friend is… difficult to name. I have a handful of best friends who I’ve known for years and they’re dotted all over. It’s a real privilege to have them in my life, as it means there’s always someone at the end of the phone.
My nickname is… Nainai, which is what all my family call me. I love my name being shortened – I think it’s really sweet.
The bravest thing I’ve ever done is… probably gone to drama school. I was in a situation where I had to support myself through university, using the money I’d made acting as a child from the age of nine, so when it came to drama school there was nothing left. I couldn’t get any funding as I’d already been to university but I didn’t listen to anybody who said I couldn’t do it.
Instead I wrote 250 letters to charitable organisations and I turned up at drama school with a loan of £3,000 from my uncle, which was all the money in the world that I had. I didn’t know how I was going to last the two years or pay the fees and I think that is incredibly brave now I look back at it.
Luckily it all worked out, because the first day I turned up at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, the bursar called me into his office and one of the charities had sent £1,000, then every couple of months another from a different charity turned up. It was just fate and being fearless, I managed to get through.
My perfect evening… would involve a movie – I’m obsessed with films. Going to the cinema with a loved one is my idea of heaven. It’s why I’m involved in the Meerkat Movies two-for-one offer because it allows you to go to the cinema with someone you’re close to.
My first kiss was… during an acting exercise when I was about 13. We were doing an improvisation and one of the other kids kissed me. I’d never kissed anyone, so it was so shocking for me and I didn’t know what to say. It was too public!
My biggest regret is… choosing the builders that I hired to do up my flat – they were shoddy and awful. I said that to someone recently and they said, “Well you’ve obviously lived a very sheltered life,” and I have to agree.
The one thing I’d change about myself is… that I’m not very patient. It seeps into all areas of my life.
The best thing my mother taught me was… that anything is possible with hard work. If every child was taught that, we’d have a completely different world.
The last time I cried was… Well, I cry all the time. Everything makes me cry – my friends’ children giving me a hug, a sunset, beautiful gardens, even the cheesiest of movies or adverts! I’m very emotional so always on the verge of tears – my friends find it very amusing.
The first record I ever bought was… a Michael Jackson one. I was obsessed with him. It was probably Ben, which is still my favourite of his.
It’s not good for my image but I like… musicals. I just heard about the Sound Of Music sing-along in Leicester Square and it sounds like my idea of heaven, so I’m definitely planning to go. There’s something so moving about music coupled with emotion. I can’t sing or dance, otherwise I’d want to be making them myself.
My greatest weakness is… probably my inability to say no. It often gets me into trouble, as I’ll say yes to all sorts of things I really don’t want to be doing and find it difficult to then get out of. I’m stronger in work – it’s my personal life where I find it much more difficult.
If I could pass any law I would… reintroduce Sunday as a complete non-working day. With all the technology we have, people find it really difficult to stop and be with their loved ones and just breathe and smell the roses. Everyone would be at home with their family and go for walks – no shopping or business or anything.
I drive… my friend’s car, as I don’t have my own.
The shop I can’t walk past is… any health food shop. I love anything that’s healthy and nourishing. I’m obsessed by coconut yoghurt at the moment as an alternative to dairy.
The most expensive thing I’ve ever splashed out on is… a coat. I’m really sensitive to the cold as I’m skin and bones, so whenever it’s cool I really feel it. It is quilted and super warm. It was about £2,000, which is more than I’ve ever spent on a single piece of clothing, but it has lasted me seven years. I bought it in Canada where I was filming at the time.
My perfect Sunday… would involve my family or friends coming over, having food together and watching a movie or going to the cinema.
My favourite place in Britain is… the countryside in general. I love to get out of London to find fields and meadows then walk for hours. The English countryside is stunning. It’s one of the benefits of us having so much rain – we get these lush fields.
My last holiday was… to Thailand. I went for two weeks at Christmas and ended up staying nearly two months. I went to Ko Samui and did a seven-day fast and then went to Chiang Mai to do a tai chi course and finally I went to Pai. I went on my own and had an incredible experience where I met so many new people.
It taught me that we’re so much more connected and so much more protected than we realise and when you fling yourself on life in this free way, everything works out and you’re always taken care of.
I’m currently reading… The Top Ten Things Dead People Want To Tell You by Mike Dooley. It’s such a great book – it reminds you that on the whole, life is incredible, and reading it has made me feel so much happier.
If I had half an hour left on Earth… I would definitely spend it with my family and best friends and tell them all how much I loved them. And there would have to be good food, too.
Naomie and her actress friend Alice Eve have recreated a series of iconic film scenes to celebrate the launch of Meerkat Movies – two-for-one cinema tickets every Tuesday or Wednesday, available exclusively at comparethemarket.com.