Naomie Harris: I was unsure about playing a crack addict

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Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris

Hollywood actress Naomie Harris has revealed she had reservations about playing a crack addict in 'Moonlight'.

Naomie Harris had reservations about playing a crack addict in 'Moonlight'.

The 40-year-old actress stars as an emotionally abusive mother in the critically-acclaimed drama movie, in which director Barry Jenkins afforded her the opportunity to challenge a stereotype.

Naomie explained: "I had real reservations about playing a crack addict because I've always fought against playing any kind of stereotypical roles.

"I'm very careful about the reputation of women, and as a black woman in particular I want to represent progressive roles for women and black people in general.

"Then I spoke to Barry 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."

Naomie revealed she adopted an unusual approach to playing the role of Paula.

She told Screen Daily: "I would sit in the hotel room imagining I was being interviewed by someone. So I imagined the person was asking me, 'What was your dad like? What was your mum like? Where did you grow up?' and all these questions.

"Then I created a whole narrative around that and that helped me define the character's voice."

Naomie is best known for playing Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise and revealed how she balanced filming 'Moonlight' and her promotional responsibilities for 'Spectre', the most-recent Bond movie.

She said: "I shot the movie in three days in Miami.

"We jumped around. I went from older Paula in rehab to Paula deep into addiction in the middle section to Paula hiding her addiction and seemingly holding it all together in one day. And then back again. To say it was challenging is a real understatement."

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