28 Days Later
“I think this is a brilliant level to be at. I wouldn’t like to be any more well known than this.” Naomie Harris on her level of fame
One of London’s most promising imports, television and movie actress Naomie Harris achieved leading lady status in the critically acclaimed thriller 28 Days Later (2002), opposite Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson. As Serena, Harris won a Black Reel Award. Since then, she has been cast in the supporting roles in high-profiles movies, like After the Sunset (2004, with Pierce Brosnan), Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006, with Johnny Depp) and Miami Vice (2006, opposite Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx).
Harris’ admirers should not miss her impressive performance in the last installment Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, for 2007 release.
Childhood and Family:
In London, England, Naomie Melanie Harris was born on September 6, 1976. She was raised by her single mother, Liselle Kayla, a British sitcom-writer who came to England from Jamaica at age 5. Naomie knew from a very young age that she wanted to become an actress. She graduated from Cambridge University in 1998 with a degree in Social and Political Sciences and received formal training as an actress at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where previous students include Miranda Richardson, Daniel Day-Lewis and Jeremy Irons. She completed her training in 2000.
Dead Man’s Chest
A native of Londoner, Naomie Harris was first seen as a young girl at The Anna Scher Theater, an after-school club for inner city children. With support from Anna Scher, she began auditioning for plays, television shows, commercials and films. In 1987, Harris finally landed her first TV role, as Joyce, in the British series “Simon and the Witch,” which was followed by a starring role in the adventure series “Runaway Bay” four years later. For 1994-1995, she joined the cast of the sci-fi show “The Tomorrow People,” playing Ami Jackson, but then put acting on the backburner to attend college.
After completing her studies in 1998, Harris chose not to directly make her comeback to showbiz. Instead, she went to Bristol Old Vic Theatre School to gain formal training, and did not appear on film until 2001 with a bit part as receptionist in British adventure/comedy Crust, directed and helmed by Mark Locke and starring Kevin McNally.
Harris continued to appear in several vague British films and in low-rent theatrical productions, but she was not a high-profile actress until in 2002, when she was cast in the co-lead role of Selena in Danny Boyle-helmed 28 Days Later, one of the most flourishing sleeper hits of the year. The massive success of the zombie flick lucratively put Harris on the spotlight. Her performance itself handed the actress a 2004 Black Reel for Best Breakthrough Performance.
Also in 2002, Harris had leads in the television films White Teeth (2002), an adaptation of Zadie Smith’s Whitbread winning novel, and The Project (2002), a political docu-drama for director Peter Kosminsky. After costarring with Collin Firth and Mena Suvari in Marc Evan’s mystery/thriller Trauma (2004), Harris confirmed her mounting status with two high-profile projects under her belt. She first acted with Pierce Brosnan, Woody Harrelson and Salma Hayek in Brett Ratner’s After the Sunset (2004) and then along side Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in director Micheal Winterbottom’s critically-acclaimed Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005).
The promising player further cemented her reputation as one of the most captivating up-and-coming actresses with assignments in the blockbuster films the long-awaited sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), playing Tia Dalma, and director Michael Mann’s wide-screen adaptation Miami Vice (2006), as Det. Trudy Joplin.
Harris is scheduled to reprise her role as Tia Dalma in the third and final sequel of the Pirates of the Caribbean series in 2007.
- Black Reel: Best Breakthrough Performance, 28 Days Later …, 2004