My Secret Life: Naomie Harris, actress, 33

Interview,Charlotte Philby
Saturday 24 April 2010 00:00
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My parents were ... immigrants. My mum's from Jamaica, my dad's from Trinidad; they both moved here when very young. My mum's now a writer and my dad's a fashion designer.

The flat I grew up in ... was across the top-floor of a Victorian house in Finsbury Park. There were wooden floors in the sitting room, high ceilings and sash windows. My mum and I lived there after my parents broke up.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'm incredibly impatient; I'd like to be less so, and more content with the now.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... gyrotonics: a form of yoga, Pilates and chi gung. I have a gyrotonics machine at my home which takes up a whole room.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... I'm not the greatest driver. I don't know if I'll ever master the art.

At night I dream of ... I don't actually dream, which people think sounds a bit strange.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... are my eyes. It's true about the eyes being the window to the soul. Your face can be etched with worry, and twisted by ageing, but the eyes tell the true story of who you are.

My favourite item of clothing ... is a boho dress with a floral pattern and Indian beading which I found while filming in Berlin. You can wear it during the day or dress it up at night; it's floaty and easy to throw on.

I wish I'd never worn ... I was a bad dresser for quite a long time. I just never used to care and would wear anything. Only recently, as a by-product of doing this job, I've discovered the power of clothes.

I drive ... a blue/grey Audi TT convertible.

My flat is ... in London. It has very high ceilings and large sash windows overlooking communal gardens.

My favourite work of art ... I'm really into architecture, not necessarily in an aesthetic way, but in the way that a building can change the way you feel. For me, period buildings do that much more than modern architecture.

My favourite building ... St Marylebone Church is a really beautiful building which stands right behind my old school. I still visit as it reminds me of being young.

A book that changed me ... was 'Everyday Zen: Love and Work', by Charlotte Joko Beck. It's about the power of being in the now.

Movie heaven ... would be a period drama. I love the romanticism of those times, and the difficulties in managing a love affair.

The last album I bought ... My brother is 14 and keeps me updated music-wise. But I have no idea what he puts on my iPod.

My secret crush ... is Andy Serkis. He's one of the most amazing men I've ever met.

My greatest regret ... is any time when I've stopped myself from enjoying the moment by worrying, and there are many.

My real-life villain ... Anybody who's not open to engaging in some sort of dialogue with the possibility that their stance could be changed by what someone else says. We've all got so much to learn from each other.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is Eddie Murphy.

The last time I cried ... I cry at random things, like a flower, or someone giving me a present, or my sister giving me a nice hug.

My five-year plan ... is to get a house in the country, buy a place in London, and keep working and have a family.

What's the point? Trying to find balance in life, being open and being affected by things that are going on.

My life in six words ... happy, fulfilled, my own, independent, satisfying.

A life in brief

Naomie Harris was born on 6 September 1976 in north London. She was educated at Cambridge and trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. She has starred in 28 Days Later as well as the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and lives on her own in west London. Naomie appeared in the recent Ian Dury biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and is a lastminute.com theatre ambassador (lastminute.com/site/ entertainment/theatre/)

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