British actress Naomi Harris and all around FAB woman has made a fab start to 2014. With Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom which saw her portray the late icon Nelson Mandela’s radical ex-wife Winnie Mandela now in the cinemas, and with talks of an Oscar nomination, Harris is sitting pretty at the top. February 2014 issue of British glossy Red not only features the actress on this fab cover but also sits down for a chat on Winnie Mandela, Idris Elba and bringing an Oscar statue home.
Let’s see what Harris had to say:
On her role as Winnie Mandela:
“It meant inhabiting places I try never to go, like revenge, hatred and rage. I don’t hate anyone, and I’m not a vengeful person, but I found it difficult to switch off. Even after I stopped filming, it took me a while to shake her.”
On understanding both sides of her character:
“She is the most complex woman I have ever played. Too many, she is a saint, she’s Mother Africa, you know? To others, she is completely vilified. The pressure of all those expectations, especially filming in South Africa, was a lot. I definitely understand why she became the woman she did. In the same situation, I don’t know how I would react.’
“I remember my mum telling me about apartheid when I was a child and thinking it was incredible that this was happening in my lifetime, with all the freedoms that I was able to enjoy. It’s still mind-blowing that that was allowed to happen. Eventually there were sanctions, but big British companies were still doing business with South Africa during apartheid. It was disgraceful, actually.”
On working with Idris Elba:
“The first thing Idris said to me was, “Whoa, what have we done? It’s terrifying, isn’t it?” It really put me at ease. We held each other’s hands through the whole process.”
Read the rest of the interview here.