Naomie Harris pledges to help aspiring actors

Naomie Harris received the best career advice she’s been given from Dawn French.

Naomie Harris is honoured to be able to help guide aspiring actors.

The British actress was recently named as the new patron for Intermission Youth Theatre, a London-based group which uses Shakespeare's plays to inspire 15-25 year olds who are at risk of offending, offenders or lacking in opportunities.

Chatting to Vogue U.K. about her new role, the 41-year-old said she was more than happy to throw her weight behind the cause.

“I think in any profession where people have knowledge and insights to share that can help the next generation they should absolutely do so,” she mused. “I would have loved the chance to ask a successful actor questions about how to survive the industry when I was an aspiring actress, so it’s my honour to be in a position now to do that for the next generation of performers.”

The Moonlight actress, who picked up her first Oscar nomination for Barry Jenkins’ groundbreaking 2016 film, shared that it was TV star Dawn French who passed on the best bit of career advice to her, long before Naomie had made it in Hollywood.

“I worked with Dawn French on a corporate training video when I was 19, and she told me that I needed to develop a thick skin to survive the acting profession. She was 100 per cent right!” she exclaimed. “No matter how successful you become within the industry you will STILL encounter rejection and hear 'NO' on a weekly, if not daily, basis. To survive that, you have to develop strategies to protect the sensitivity and openness you need to act, while also creating a protective shield around you that ensures that you don’t take rejection personally.

“You have to be courageous and keep picking yourself up and going for auditions no matter how many times people in the business say 'No'.”

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