WATCH: Naomie Harris Discusses Her Role as a Drug Addict in ‘Moonlight’

This year, British actress Naomie Harris has been greatly applauded for her portrayal of a drug-addicted mother in the critically acclaimed awards contender Moonlight.  Her performance has many speculating that she will receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 2017 Oscars.

The 40-year-old actress stars as an emotionally abusive mother in the new drama, in which director Barry Jenkins afforded her the opportunity to challenge a stereotype.  During a THR roundtable Harris admits that she had reservations about playing a crack addict in the film Moonlight.

Harris said: “I grew up with very strong, intelligent, powerful women and I don’t feel as though they’re reflected enough on screen, so I sort of made it my mission that I was going to make my choices based on portraying positive images of women in general, and black women in particular. I didn’t feel as if a crack addicted fitted into that.”

“Then I spoke to Barry (Jenkins) and he said, ‘I don’t want you to play a stereotype. What I’m asking you to play is basically my mum.’ Because this is his story and the story of the writer Tarell (McCraney), and what happened to their mothers – it’s a very similar journey – deeply connected with me.”

Harris also shared that she used YouTube to research her role saying, “I felt through these clips I saw online that I got a real insight into those communities in those people’s lives.”

Harris is best known to global audiences as Eve Moneypenny in Bond movies Spectre and Skyfall. She also starred in thePirates of the Carribean franchiseHarris will be seen next in Collateral Beauty, opposite Will Smith and fellow Variety Award winners Winslet, Knightley, and Mirren.



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The HBR Media Team is a collective group of black women filmmakers, writers, and studio/network executives who are passionate about bringing visibility to women of African descent working in film and television.

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