Naomie Harris Discusses The Importance Of Positive Images Of Women in Media

In Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series, Moonlight star Naomie Harris sat down for a conversation with Annette Bening, and discussed the importance and beauty of being vulnerable on set and the experience of acting vs real life.

“In real life I find that really difficult, because everybody goes around and they are wearing these masks,” Harris said. “It’s so beautiful, so magical being on a set because when you are acting, you have to let your guard down, and connect on a really soulful level and that’s very rare you do that with anybody, and to do that with a stranger is such an extraordinary thing.”

Harris added her discontent with people labeling actors as “prima donnas,” saying that it is nearly impossible for an actor to act in such a way in a role that requires so much intimacy.

“Its so amazing that people talk about actors and say they are prima donnas, they’re difficult, because that is not my experience at all, they have to be open to do their jobs,” Harris said.

During the conversation, Harris shared the reason that she was initially hesitant to play the role of a verbally abusive crack addicted mother in Moonlight.  Her hesitation stemmed from a personal pledge to only take on roles that have positive images of women.  Harris then explained to Bening why she changed her mind and accepted the role — a decision motivated by own her personal history and the history of Moonlight director Barry Jenkins.

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.

Check out the entire chat between Harris and Benning above.  The interview will air in full on Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” Season 5, presented by The Venetian Las Vegas, which debuts on PBS SoCal on Jan. 3rd.