Royal recognition proves Naomie Harris is more than just Moneypenny

While she has turned heads playing Miss Moneypenny in the most recent James Bond films, Naomie Harris has proved more than capable of taking on some of the most challenging roles on offer.

The British actor became synonymous with the character after she dazzled in 2012′s Skyfall, even though she revealed that her co-star Daniel Craig had to “calm her nerves” on her first day on set.

But the versatility Naomie has shown, in roles such as the witch Tia Dalma in two of the Pirates Of The Caribbean films and grieving mother Madeleine in this month’s Collateral Beauty, have earned her an OBE in the New Year Honours list.

The accolade adds to her rapidly expanding awards cabinet, which looks set to be boosted further by her part in February’s hotly anticipated release Moonlight.

As well as being widely tipped for an Academy Award for her role as a drug-addicted and abusive single mother, the part has already secured her a Bifa Variety award, Critics’ Choice best acting ensemble award, and a Golden Globes nomination.

Describing the part as one of the most rewarding of her career to date, she recently highlighted how she was pleased to be part of a predominantly black cast, helping to address the lack of diversity in cinema.

Born in the UK to a Jamaican mother and a Trinidadian father, the 40-year-old has previously spoken out on equality in the industry, including the Oscars So White protest earlier this year.

She said: “Moonlight demonstrates that you can make a movie about communities that are ignored and that there is, in fact, an audience for them.

“I think it’s wonderful that the industry is now catering for a much wider section of society and it’s really important that people see themselves reflected on screen, rather than ignored or excluded from society.”

Her big screen debut came in 2001 when she played a receptionist in Crust, and she was quickly snapped up for three titles the following year, including the award-winning horror film 28 Days Later.

While her growing career has seen her spend large chunks of time in America, she says her heart still lies in her home town.

“I live here, I never left London and I’m able to work here as well as there and I couldn’t ask for more,” she said.

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