01/06/2012 11:58 am ET Updated Jan 20, 2012

The Power List: Naomie Harris Steps Up As Hollywood's Newest Bond Girl. Will She Pull It Off?

This week, BlackVoices is shining the spotlight on 12 people who are primed to make big waves in 2012.

With predecessors like Grace Jones and Halle Berry, Naomie Harris has some tough shoes to fill as Hollywood's newest Bond girl. But what's going to be even more of a challenge is pulling off the role of one the most famous of Bond girls, and one that has only ever been played by a white actress -- Miss Moneypenny.

According to the Daily Mail, Harris' portrayal of the character is likely to be very different from those of predecessors Samantha Bond, Caroline Bliss and Lois Maxwell. She'll initially play an M16 field agent known only as Eve, but the plot will see her character become Bond's foil, Moneypenny.

It's a role Harris is primed to play following her success in 2006's "28 Days Later..." and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, and puts her among a small group of black actresses blazing trails in action films as of late.

In preparation for her rise to the top in 2012, Harris told PEOPLE:

"I've been doing yoga three times a week, stunt driving and firing machine guns -- which I discovered I had a real taste for. I'm raring to go!"

When she isn't training, the British actress is making the rounds on red carpets across the globe.


CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly named actress Thandi Newton as a former Bond Girl. Though rumored to play in 2006's "Casino Royale," Newton did not appear in the film.