Long Walk To Freedom’s Naomie Harris Covers Fault Magazine
She speaks on how she got into character when playing Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, opposite Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela.
“I did a lot of research to find Winnie. She is such a polarising character. Some people say that she is Mother Africa and that she is a saint and then other people completely demonise her as a fraudster, as a murderer and as a terrorist.
So you have these completely opposing views about who she is. To meet in the middle and find a cohesive character for all of that was a real challenge.”
On meeting Winnie Mandela:
“I thought that she’d have a long laundry list of ideas about how she’d want to be portrayed but actually she was really generous and she just said, ‘Look, you’re the right person for the role, you portray me as you see fit’.
And that just suddenly felt like all this pulling in different directions was lifted off my shoulders and I felt ownership of the part. I felt like I was able to be really creative.”
On what lessons she took from the experience:
“I think really the value of freedom, because that’s one of the things we take for granted – and we should take for granted, everyone should be at the very base level free – but lots of people in the world aren’t.
We still have slavery in the world, it’s a modern form of slavery, but it is slavery essentially and to know that people sacrifice their lives and fought so hard and for so many years to ensure that people had freedom just makes me value that in such a completely different way.”
For her role in Long Walk, Naomie has won four awards, including the Breakthrough in Film Award from The Hollywood Reporter Awards, and she’s nominated for two London Film Critics Circle Awards and a NAACP Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Read the full interview in Fault, which is available now for order.