Lashana Lynch Says She Received 'Attacks' and 'Abuse' for Making History as First Black Female 007

The actress will star as Nomi in the upcoming James Bond film, No Time to Die

Lashana Lynch
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Lashana Lynch is opening up about the backlash she received tied to her role in the upcoming James Bond film, No Time to Die.

In a new interview with Harper's Bazaar UK, the 32-year-old actress spoke candidly about how she is making history as the first Black woman to take up the 007 mantle in the upcoming Bond movie, a subject that was rumored previously last year.

The publication notes that Lynch is not taking over the role from Daniel Craig — who has portrayed Bond since 2006 — but rather stars as Nomi, "the secret agent who inherits the 007 title while Bond himself is in exile."

Describing to the outlet how she dealt with the backlash after news of her role first went public, Lynch shared that she took a break from all social media and reminded herself that the comments directed at her were not meant to be taken personally.

"I am one Black woman — if it were another Black woman cast in the role, it would have been the same conversation, she would have got the same attacks, the same abuse," she said. "I just have to remind myself that the conversation is happening and that I’m a part of something that will be very, very revolutionary."

James Bond (Daniel Craig) prepares to shoot in NO TIME TO DIE, a DANJAQ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film.
Daniel Craig as James Bond. Nicola Dove

The 25th film in the Bond series will find the spy no longer on active service and enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. However, his peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help with a new mission.

For her role of Nomi, Lynch told Harper's Bazaar UK that she had some fears about being cast aside "behind the man" in the film, but after speaking with director Cary Fukunaga, producer Barbara Broccoli and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Lynch realized her ideas for the film and for her role lined up with theirs.

Wanting to portray a character with a "fresh female perspective" who was "subtly drawn, believable, perhaps even a little awkward," as the outlet states, Lynch agreed that Nomi would be able to contribute all of that.

"A character that is too slick, a cast-iron figure? That's completely against what I stand for," Lynch noted. "I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent."

She added: "I searched for at least one moment in the script where Black audience members would nod their heads, tutting at the reality but glad to see their real life represented. In every project I am part of, no matter the budget or genre, the Black experience that I’m presenting needs to be 100 percent authentic."

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No Time to Die was initially set for release in November 2019, but the date was first pushed to February 2020 and then to April 2020, following the departure of the movie's original director Danny Boyle and his replacement by Fukunaga, 43.

Then, in March 2020, it was announced that the film's release date was being postponed until November 2020 as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But in early October, No Time To Die was pushed back again to a new premiere date of April 2, 2021.

According to a report by The Daily Mail UK from 2019, a source told the outlet of No Time to Die, "There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says 'Come in 007', and in walks Lashana who is Black, beautiful and a woman."

"It's a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he’s been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman," the source added.

No Time to Die is scheduled to open in theaters on April 2, 2021.

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