Naomie Harris plays teacher
Published 27/10/2010 | 14:29
Naomie Harris has revealed how she became a real teacher at a school in Kenya for her new film The First Grader.
The Pirates Of The Caribbean star plays head teacher Jane in the true story of village elder and former Mau-Mau fighter Maruge - played by Oliver Litondo in the film - who decided at the age of 84 that he wanted to learn to read and write.
Naomie explained: "It was amazing - I was brought in two weeks before we started filming, I was introduced as teacher Jane, not as Naomie, they don't know me as Naomie the actress."
She went on: "I had to learn a Kenyan accent, learn some key Swahili to be able to communicate with the kids as well and also come up with lesson plans for them. So I was Skyping my step-dad, who is a teacher, most nights saying, 'What do I do? What do I teach them? I don't know.'"
The 34-year-old actress admitted the children didn't concentrate on her lessons at first, but once she got the hang of teaching they were very well-behaved."
She confessed at the film's premiere at the BFI London Film Festival: "I was a terrible teacher to begin with, really bad. I couldn't keep their attention at all - they were really bored - but I managed to get there in the end. It was such a great feeling to be able to have them on side.
"They're amazing children. They were super well-behaved."
The film, made on location in a real Kenyan school, was directed by The Other Boleyn Girl's Justin Chadwick who revealed he and the camera man were also introduced to the children as teachers in the classroom.