Lashana Lynch will become the first Black actor to potray Agent 007, leaked reports claim, inheriting the role from Daniel Craig in the newest James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” as Nomi, who takes on the 007 designation after Bond is retired.
Recently, in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, she discussed the harassment she faced after news of the casting was leaked last year in July. According to the article, Lynch was overcome by the anger and abuse that were sent in her direction. Afterward, she deleted all of her social media, sought comfort in meditation and only connected with family. Lynch said she eventually came to accept that the vitriol aimed at her was impersonal, and moved on to things that were more important.
“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.”
As an actor, Lynch has turned to different approaches to help herself manage the stress and responsibility of working in her industry.
“As I have come more into myself, I have found ways to remain respectful of others but still true to myself,” she said. “If something felt misrepresented or inaccurate — for example, the dynamic between a mother and her child, or the way we might wrap our hair to sleep at night … I had to learn to speak up. I’ve been cast to tell an authentic story, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
Lynch said her ultimate concern, is “her culture’s fight.”
When Lynch was first approached about becoming Bond, the “Captain Marvel” actress was hesitant about being involved in another series of big-budget films. However, after meeting with producer Barbara Broccoli and director Cary Joji Fukunaga, she realized their intent was similar to her own. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Lynch wanted to develop a three-dimensional character, one that embodied “the truth of being a Black woman.”
“A character that is too slick, a cast-iron figure? That’s completely against what I stand for. I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent,” she said.
“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.”
Lynch said she urges herself to exhibit a “100 per cent authentic” representation of “the Black experience” in every project that she works on.
She also believes that the role of Nomi will assist in changing the traditional Black narrative in movies, and bring about strong, positive women characters that can exist on their own terms.
“I feel very grateful that I get to challenge those narratives,” she says. “We’re moving away from toxic masculinity, and that’s happening because women are being open, demanding and vocal, and calling out misbehavior as soon as we see it.”
In an August interview with Elle, Lynch expressed that she understood the significance of what a role like Nomi may mean, and that despite the difficulties, will continue to push for progress that may someday take hold in the future.
“I think if I ever said I don’t want to talk about [being the first Black female 00 agent] then it would mean that I’m not doing my part for my culture as a Black woman. That is never ever going to be my stance,” she said.
“Whilst it is exhausting sometimes, because I don’t speak for everyone, I also know I have a responsibility which I willingly take on to further the conversations that need to keep happening. If they’re not happening and I’m not a part of them, then what am I in this industry for?”
“No Time to Die” is slated to be released in April 2021.