Naomie Harris turned to Will Smith's assistant for grief research

Naomie Harris turned to co-star Will Smith's wardrobe assistant for help as she researched her role as a grief counselor in Collateral Beauty, because the assistant had been through the pain of losing a child.

The British actress admits the role was a tough one for her because she had never experienced loss in her personal life.

"I haven't really suffered a death in my life and I think that's one of the things that attracted me to the piece because I think that death is such an important part of life," she tells WENN. "Only when you come to terms with death can you appreciate the beauty and the fragility of life. I was interested in going on a journey that would explore that."

And as soon as she landed the role she set about seeking out people who could help her really get under the skin of her character, and discovered Smith's costume guru was a grieving mom.

"Will's wardrobe assistant had lost her daughter and she was able to share that story of losing this little child with us," she explains. "It was so traumatic to hear about the suffering she had been through. It was also incredible that she had found the collateral beauty in that and how it had changed her life, and in some respects for the better.

"She saw the beauty in life in such a profound way that I have yet to see. It really helped me grow."

"She had a new baby and she was actually taking the film for the process to be able to purge and be able to use her pain artistically for other people," Smith adds. "Her baby was only six months old so she had a brand new baby after losing a child, so that circle of life was a beautiful asset to have on set."