Naomie Harris' New Role Proves She Can Do It All

by S. Atkinson

Because why choose between indie flicks and blockbusters when you can do both? Fresh from her Oscar nomination, Naomie Harris has joined the cast of Rampage, according to Entertainment Weekly. On one level, this feels like an abrupt departure from the nuanced, character-led stylings of Moonlight, in which Harris played the protagonist's remote, drug-addict mother — but when you take a moment to digest this casting call, it makes all the sense in the world.

The movie is New Line's adaptation of the popular 1986 arcade game, in which you played as giant monsters battling against military forces, trying to destroy a city. Harris will perform alongside Dwayne Johnson, and as Entertainment Weekly has already observed, the film will reunite "the team behind Johnson’s 2015 disaster hit, San Andreas, with producer Beau Flynn and director Brad Peyton joining."

So, does Harris make sense for this beat-em-up style film? Absolutely. Sure, Harris may be enjoying the spotlight, thanks to her turn in the experimental indie movie, but she first rose to prominence on the back of a franchise: Pirates of the Caribbean, in which she played Caribbean soothsayer Tia Dalma. This wouldn't be her only time joining a franchise — she appeared in both Skyfall and Spectre.

In fact, the whole of Harris' résumé seems to act as a paean to the joys of doing both indie and blockbusters. Her career has been characterized by her zipping between the two worlds: following up a literary miniseries in the role of Clara on the TV adaptation of White Teeth and a stint on Danny Boyle's cult zombie classic 28 Days Later, while appearing alongside Jamie Foxx on 2006's cinematic reboot of Miami Vice.

And given the fact that all four women (Scarlett Johansson, Felicity Jones, Amy Adams, and Margot Robbie) who made it onto last year's Forbes' Top Grossing Actors list seemed to do pretty much what Harris does — indie movies interspersed with franchise work — this isn't a bad strategy when it comes to Harris building a reputation for herself as a star who can draw crowds. It also doesn't seem to harm Harris as an actor, since she manages to be completely luminous, no matter what material she's working with.

So, here's to Harris and how unpredictable her roles tend to be — she keeps us guessing and that's got to be a good thing.