Naomie Harris is hearing voices, and they are saying one thing: Wake. Up.

It is late January, late in the evening, late in a long shoot for Brett Ratner's heist flick After the Sunset. Harris has just left the set, sliding into a friend's Toyota econobox. She can remember closing her eyes and telling him to keep his open. Then, the voices. Harris woke up just in time to see what five midair revolutions look like from the inside of a Corolla.

"It could have been the end of my career," she says.

That Harris survived without a bruise shouldnt surprise anyone—things have always had a way of working out for her. She overcame a hard-knock childhood, bearing the double burden of being raised by a single mom and being a child star. (She spent two years on the BBC equivalent of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.) As a result, she was picked on and picked last, and by the time Harris could make friends, while studying political science and social scienceat Cambridge, she decided it wasn't worth the effort. "Most people there took it for granted and were only interested in drinking and having lots of sex," she says.

She fit in better at drama school—the natural escape for insecure pretty girls—and after graduating, landed the machete-wielding lead in Danny Boyle's 2002 zombie hit28 Days Later. (Another triumph: surviving the last-minute addition, after a full year of reshoots, of a scene lovingly listed on the call sheet as SELENA RAPE.) Brett Ratner saw the film and said he'd love to work with her, which is L.A.-speak for You'll never hear from me again. But he did call, and soon Harris was off to the Bahamas to get physical with co-star Woody Harrelson.

Harris, 28, isn't the movie's leading lady—that would be Salma Hayek—but that doesn't bother her. Not being in every scene has its benefits, like having spare time to attend the School of Woody Harrelson. "He is unlike anyone I've ever met," she says, trancelike. For your edification she will repeat the Gospel According to Woody, which she follows devotedly and lovingly:Do not fancy yourself better than anyone else. Use your money and influence to protect the environment. And do not eat any food cooked over 116 degrees Fahrenheit.

As Harris is officially a starlet, she must subscribe to at least one hopelessly L.A. trend: raw food. The movement argues that cooking food destroys all the good natural enzymes. (She cops to having something called The Uncook Book in her London flat.) "I became raw eight months ago and haven't been ill since," Harris says. "I mean, we eat food all the time and don't really understand what goes into something like bread." (Uh, flour and water?) So, without a single cardio-striptease class, Harris is enjoying such benefits as biceps that resemble avocados. Ratner, for his part, didn't make it that far. "When you eat raw food, the poisons leave your body, he says. "I couldn't stand the way I smelled."

Harris smells just fine, and anyway, she has more pressing concerns. like the Los Angeles premiere of After the Sunset and a potential red carpet run-in with her childhood fantasy–cum–Ratner pal, Michael Jackson.

"Uh, maybe it's better if we don't meet," she says.