Naomie Harris (‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’): ‘It was really about paying homage to my mom through this role’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“I was not familiar with ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ before signing on to do this project,” admits Naomie Harris, the star of Showtime’s sci-fi drama based on the 1976 David Bowie film. “I had to educate myself about it and go back and watch the movie. The movie is a little impenetrable, it really is for proper movie buffs, but I was blown away by David Bowie’s performance.” Watch our full interview with Harris above.

In Showtime’s inspired continuation of the novel by Walter Tevis and the iconic film, an alien named Faraday (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) crashes deep into the oilfields of New Mexico with a mission: he must find the brilliant scientist Justin Falls (Harris), the one woman on earth who can help save his species. Even as he struggles to adapt to our world and to become more “human,” her faith in humanity couldn’t be lower. An unlikely duo, together they discover that in order to save his world, they must first save ours.

SEE Chiwetel Ejiofor on playing his own alien in ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’: ‘You have to find it internally because there’s no other exterior source’ 

“For me, Justin was an easy connect in the sense that she reminded me so much of my own mother,” the actress explains. “It was really about paying homage to my mom through this role. I saw Justin as this woman who has the weight of the world on her shoulders. She has a sick father that she has to take care of, she’s a single parent to her child, she’s carrying all this guilt about things we discover later on in the series. She’s just struggling to survive. And in that struggle she completely loses her sense of self and her entire life becomes about being of service to others. So many women end up in that position. I wanted to respect their struggle and to highlight their struggle.”

Harris goes on to discuss why she sometimes prefers acting alone with a green screen to working with other actors. She also reflects back on her 2017 Oscar nomination for “Moonlight,” which celebrity she was most thrilled to meet on the red carpet, and what it was like to have a front row seat when “La La Land” was mistakenly announced as the year’s Best Picture.

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