Naomie Harris is not just garnering attention for her mesmerizing performance in the historic biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (in theaters today), she’s also winning rave reviews for her stunning red carpet choices.

In the film, based on the life of Nelson Mandela (Idris Elba), Harris plays the former South African leader’s strong-willed — and controversial — wife Winnie. InStyle.com caught up with Harris at the film’s New York premiere, where she told us one surprising way the movie’s storied characters show their strength: through their clothes. “The fashion is really about self-expression,” Harris told us. “They have their own sense of style, almost peacock-like, in its vibrancy and the use of colors,” she said.

The same goes for Harris’s red carpet looks, where she tends to favor neutrals with pops of color and delicately placed details. Harris admitted that she gets to “have fun, play, and be outlandish” when it comes to her premiere looks. “Since you’re actually in the movie, you can go a bit further because normally you kind of feel like, ‘Oh I don’t want to dress up too much,’” she said. “But now you’re like, ‘Well, it is my movie so I’m going to dress up!’”

To see more of Harris’s premiere looks—which have taken her from Toronto, to Los Angeles and New York—look through our gallery and be sure to catch the film, in theaters today.

See the Photos

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