‘Skyfall’ star Naomie Harris: ‘I didn’t look back on Halle Berry's ‘Bond’ role’

Make way for the new Bond girl, Naomie Harris, because she has arrived. The U.K. native stars as M6 field agent, Eve, alongside Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem in Skyfall which hits theaters nationwide today.

Skyfall is arguably Harris’ breakout role, and according to her fellow cast-members she delivers a stellar performance.

“I couldn’t have been happier that we cast her in the movie, because she brought something to it. She’s incredibly physical and she can do all the action stuff, but beyond that she’s a remarkable actress,” Craig, who plays James Bond, said during an interview with theGrio.

Click here to see a slideshow of black Bond girls of the past and present

Bardem, who plays a deranged villain in the film, said that although he didn’t have any scenes with Harris, he applauds her performance on-screen.  “She brings a great flexibility to her role,” Bardem said. “She is an open actress and everything that she does it open and a delight to watch.”

We caught up with the 36-year-old actress and talked about the character she plays in Skyfall as well as her role starring alongside Idris Elba as Winnie Mandela in upcoming feature film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

What attracted you to take on the role of Eve in this film?

Well, I didn’t actually know what role I was playing when I first of all auditioned. But I was asked to come in audition for a Bond film, and I’m a huge fan of Bond movies, I grew up watching them and I love them, so that was the main attraction. Then obviously, getting to work with Sam Mendes was another huge attraction to me because I think he’s a brilliant filmmaker. And then when I was finally told what role I was playing, I was told that they wanted a modern Bond woman, and they wanted me to make something original with her, then I was like, “all my wishes have kinda come true.”

Were you at all nervous to step into such a big and well-known film franchise?

Yeah I was definitely nervous. I was really really nervous. Having grown up with the movies I know there’s so much expectation around them, and people have very set ideas about how they think these characters should be played. I definitely was very nervous but Daniel was so kind to me on-set, he really took me under his wing, and held my hand through all of it and it really made a huge difference to me and made it fun.

Did you at all research or look at Halle Berry’s performance when she was in the James Bond film Die Another Day to maybe try to emulate some of her essence that she brought to the role?

No, not at all actually, because as I said, when I went to the audition and I was told I had the role, they said to me one of the main things they wanted was that I should make the role my own and make it as original as possible and make it modern as well. And so I made a conscious choice not to look back. Because I’ve grown up with Bond movies anyway, I’ve seen Halle Berry’s performance, I’ve seen Grace Jones, and so many Bond women over the years, so I didn’t want to be influenced by that. I wanted to really make her my own and be original.