2013 was a great year for Idris Elba with high profile roles in blockbuster movies such as Thor: The Dark World and Pacific Rim, topped off with the starring role in Mandela biopic Long Walk to Freedom.  But what of his co-star in that movie Naomie Harris?  Her rise has been similarly meteoric.

Her breakthrough film role came slightly over 10 years ago in Danny Boyle‘s 28 Days Later... (2002). This led to Hollywood for Michael Mann’s re-boot Miami Vice (2006) alongside Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx and then back to UK TV for Small Island (2009) alongside Ashley Walters (for which she was named best female actor by the Royal Television Society).

Harris also won fans for her role as Tia Dalma in the blockbusting “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, but she really hit the big time when she was cast as Field Agent Eve in the twenty third James Bond film, Skyfall (2012), evolving the long-established role of Moneypenny from a desk-bound Bond girl to a gun-toting Bond woman.


But surely her most challenging role thus far came in 2013 in the shape of Winnie Mandela in the afore-mentioned biopic of the great South African leader.

But at a time when both Black male and white female actors complain of a lack of decent roles, how has Harris managed to navigate her way to movie stardom on both sides of the Atlantic?

In an interview this week with the Daily Telegraph she discusses growing up in London, tackling the role of Winnie Mandela, and meeting the Obamas.