One look at the poised and stunning Naomie Harris on the cover of the December issue of ESSENCE and it's clear she was born to be a star. The Spectre actress is worlds away from her childhood living on welfare with her teenage single mother in North London's Finsbury Park.
"I always knew I was going to be an actress," says the 39-year-old, who enrolled in the Anna Schere Theater school and began booking TV roles by age 9. But her first year after drama school taught her what life as an actor can really be like. She went nine months without a gig before landing her breakout role in Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later.
The roles have kept coming since (After the Sunset, Miami Vice, Street Kings) and all led to her being called upon by director Sam Mendes and casting director Debbie McWilliams for the iconic Mrs. Moneypenny in 2012's Skyfall. "[Naomie] has great integrity as an actress and a tremendous range," says costar Daniel Craig. "I always look forward to the days she's on set. She's the consummate professional."
As for Harris, she's loving her role in the latest Bond movie, Spectre, opening this weekend.
"It's completely amazing and life-changing," she gushes. "It's a franchise I grew up wathcing and I never thought in a million years I would be a part of it."
To find out more about how her self-improvement moves helped her reconcile her feelings about her father or her thoughts on men and relationships, pick up this latest issue of ESSENCE on stands Nov. 6.