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Naomie Harris Was Glad Not to Be Cast as a Bond Girl Because She ‘Never Traded on Sexuality’

The actress initially thought she was auditioning to be a Bond Girl before learning she was up for the role of Eve Moneypenny.

Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris

Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Since “Skyfall” hit theaters in 2012, Naomie Harris has been an essential part of the James Bond franchise. Playing the role of Eve Moneypenny, the tough secretary to Judi Dench’s M, she is an important part of the British Secret Service apparatus that supports James Bond’s adventures. While it remains to be seen what her role in the series will be following Daniel Craig’s departure, Harris recently spoke to The Independent about the unique process that led to her joining the franchise.

Harris said that when she first auditioned for “Skyfall,” she thought she was being considered as a potential Bond Girl. But she was a bit confused, as she felt that such a specific role was a mismatch for her sensibilities as an actress. She later found out that she was actually auditioning for the role of Moneypenny, which was welcome news to the British actress.

“I just feel like I don’t have the kind of assets that are normally associated with a Bond girl, and I’ve never traded on sexuality,” Harris said. “It’s a powerful tool, right? As a woman, you can have it in your arsenal of weapons to get ahead in life, but it’s not one I’ve really used. So I thought, how is this going to work? Because to be a Bond girl, traditionally, was all about that allure and that sexuality, and I didn’t understand how that fitted with me.”

Harris also spoke about her early years as a child star, having launched her career on the show “Simon and the Witch” at the age of 11. She discussed the way working on sets causes young actors to grow up faster, and how she sees the process differently as she gets older.

“Filming environments are very pressurized,” she said. “There’s lots of intensity and seriousness that you have to develop when you’re working on a set, which isn’t really conducive to a carefree childhood and the way children really should be, so I lost out on a lot of that. My nature is very serious anyway, and very focused and dedicated, so I actually needed shaking out of that. In some ways it wasn’t necessarily the best environment for me. I wouldn’t change it, but I don’t know whether, if I had a child who wanted to start acting that young, I would encourage them to do that.”

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