A Bond babe with brains

6 July 2011

From Voodoo Priestess to Bond girl: Cambridge alumnae Naomie Harris has been offered a coveted role opposite Daniel Craig in the upcoming Bond film..

The iconic part as Bond’s sexy sidekick will be a contrast from her almost unrecognizable performance as Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Harris admits ‘I’ve never played a beautiful vacuous woman. I don’t think I’d be very good at it’. With a degree in Social and Political Sciences from Pembroke College, Cambridge, Naomie wishes to instil a new dynamic to Bond’s babe. ‘I don’t think Bond would be interested in a woman like that now. The new Bond has to be intellectually stimulated by whoever he’s having his dalliances with.’ Harris wishes to emulate the performance of Eva Green in Casino Royale: ‘she was not scantily clad. She was an intelligent, strong, modern woman.’

The 34-year-old British actor was born in North London and is the only child of sitcom writer Liselle Kayla. After she graduated from Cambridge in 1998 she went on to train at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Naomie has something in common with the fictional spy: Fleming’s original 007 was himself a Cambridge graduate, with no less than a double first in Oriental Languages.

Neeru Ravi, President of Cambridge’s Black Student Campaign told The Cambridge Student,  that Harris ‘is an inspiration to our generation, and an inspiration to ethnic minorities, especially women, as she has aimed high and accomplished much’.

Harris is not the first Cambridge graduate to be considered as a Bond girl. Thandie Newton, who studied at Anthropology at Downing College, was rumoured in 2006 to have been shortlisted for a lead in ‘Casino Royale’. Despite extensive media coverage she was not successful.

The new film is known by the working title of Bond 23 and is being kept top secret until its release on 26th October 2012. Auditions were done using scenes from previous films and Harris still does not know what character she will play.

Charlotte Callinan

Image: alotofmillion