British actress Naomie Harris says she had reservations about playing a crack addict in the film “Moonlight”.
Harris said: “I had real reservations about playing a crack addict because I’ve always fought against playing any kind of stereotypical roles. I’m very careful about the reputation of women, and as a black woman in particular I want to represent progressive roles for women and black people in general.
“Then I spoke to Barry (Jenkins) and he said, ‘I don’t want you to play a stereotype. What I’m asking you to play is basically my mum.’ Because this is his story and the story of the writer Tarell (McCraney), and what happened to their mothers – it’s a very similar journey – deeply connected with me.”
The 40-year-old actress stars as an emotionally abusive mother in the film. She told Screen Daily that she adopted an unusual approach to playing the role of Paula, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
“I would sit in the hotel room imagining I was being interviewed by someone. So I imagined the person was asking me, ‘What was your dad like? What was your mum like? Where did you grow up?’ and all these questions. Then I created a whole narrative around that and that helped me define the character’s voice,” she said.