She's not your average Bond girl

Naomie Harris says her journey to becoming a Bond girl starts and ends with director Danny Boyle.

In 2002, the English director behind Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire gave the British actress her first big break with a role in 28 Days Later.

She went on to star as dreadlocked witch doctor Tia Dalma in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but reunited with Boyle in The National Theatre production of Frankenstein.

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When Skyfall director Sam Mendes saw Frankenstein, it set the cogs in motion for Harris to land the role of MI6 field agent Eve, opposite Daniel Craig.

"I really credit Danny for the reason why I ended up getting this film, because Sam Mendes came to see Frankenstein and asked Danny what I was like to work with," she says.

"Danny gave me a glowing reference and that's why Sam thought I would be right."

Coincidentally, Boyle also directed Craig and Queen Elizabeth II in their appearance in the London Olympics Opening Ceremony.

"So it's all linked, weirdly enough," Harris says.

"It all starts and ends with Danny Boyle."

Harris says Eve is a refreshing type of Bond girl, one who happily goes toe to toe with 007.

"She has all these witty one-liners as well, which I really like," she says.

"I really like their banter backwards and forwards and the fact that she's a very capable, independent woman."

She says she was on the glamorous Golden Dragon Casino set - at the historic Pinewood Studios outside London - when the realisation dawned that she was in a Bond film.

"We had this incredible set, full of all this gold and lanterns and these women in these amazing gowns and men in tuxedos and it was like the ultimate, quintessential Bond scene," she says.

There to witness the moment was her mother and family, who were visiting the set.

"And my mum had a tear in her eye because she said, 'You know I would've been so proud of you if you were just an extra' and she said, 'You actually had lines!"' she says.

"So that for me was one of those pinch-myself moments."

Her co-star and fellow Bond girl, Berenice Marlohe, had a similar experience on the same set.

She says it was during the casino scene that Craig's Bond ordered a martini and said his iconic introduction.

"That scene was magical," Marlohe says.

"When I think about Bond movies I always have in my mind is women entering a casino and James Bond saying, 'Bond, James Bond', and this one was really surreal."

She adds: "I don't quite realise I belong to this legacy. Maybe in three years I'll realise." AAP

Skyfall is now screening in cinemas.

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