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Naomie Harris on Meeting the Queen, Ageing, and How She Goes Incognito

Naomie Harris has already got 2017 on lock. She’s up for a Golden Globe for her stellar performance as the crack-ravaged Paula in Moonlight; she gets to take her proud mom with her to the awards, and just over a week ago, the Queen of England honored Harris with an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to drama.

Every year, the Queen announces a list of honorees, but this year women make up half of those recipients—something that’s only happened twice before. Others honored this year include Victoria Beckham, who was recognized for her work in fashion and charity, and fashion designer Anya Hindmarch.

Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris arriving at the BAFTA Tea Party


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Will the women get to hang out together and have tea with the Queen?

“I don’t even know what happens,” Harris told ELLE.com at the BAFTA tea in Los Angeles. “I think you go to the palace, but I don’t know. I would hope so.”

Harris’ honor is well-deserved, not only for roles such as Bond legend Moneypenny, but also for last year’s Moonlight, in which she convincingly ages 15 years—an experience the actress says she found liberating.

“I love not caring about how you look,” she said, “and just being able to focus on the soul of the character.” However, Harris is confident she won’t age as poorly in reality as she did in the film. “I’m not going to be a crack addict any time soon,” she said. “So I don’t think I’ll age like that. I’m hoping I’ll keep my teeth, you know what I mean?”

Harris also finds a laid-back attitude to her appearance helps her pass incognito in her regular life in London. “Without hair and makeup, you’re in your trackie bottoms, or whatever,” she said. “No one really recognizes me at all, which I think is fantastic.”

Looking stunning in a bespoke Thom Browne dress, Harris said she was especially thrilled to be taking her mom to the Globes. “She’s flown in from London, and she’s so excited to meet all these amazing actors and filmmakers, so this is just going to make her entire year. So I’m really excited about that.”

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