For some, it’s a recurring nightmare, the dream that they’re back in school again. For Naomie Harris, star of the Toronto Film Festival favorite The First Grader, it was a job requirement.
At first, Harris, who plays an elementary-school teacher in a classroom with dozens of Kenyan children and one 84-year-old villager, was puzzled by director Justin Chadwick’s request that she actually teach class. With a younger brother and sister, she didn’t feel she needed to prove she could work with kids. But the lesson proved a blessing.