News leaked this past April that Lashana Lynch’s role in the James Bond tentpole “No Time to Die” would be that of the new 007, making her the first Black woman to take on Bond’s famous digits. “No Time to Die” picks up with Daniel Craig’s eponymous secret agent living in exile in Jamaica, and in his absence Lynch’s Nomi assumes the 007 moniker. Lynch isn’t the new Bond per se, but in taking over the 007 mantle she became a target of toxic Bond fans and internet trolls upset that a Black woman could fill in as 007.
In a new interview with Harpar’s Bazaar, Lynch’s role as the new 007 in “No Time to Die” is confirmed. The actress shared with the publication how she overcame the toxic backlash to her Bond role: “For a week, she deleted her social-media apps, meditated, and saw no one but family, while comforting herself with the knowledge that the aggressive comments were ultimately not personal.”
“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,” Lynch 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.”
Lynch told THR last year the backlash wasn’t disheartening to her, adding, “It makes me feel quite sad for some people because their opinions, they’re not even from a mean place — they’re actually from a sad place. It’s not about me. People are reacting to an idea, which has nothing to do with my life.”
Bringing a specific Black woman’s perspective to 007 is what attracted Lynch to “No Time to Die” in the first place. The actress told Harper’s Bazaar that she worked closely with co-writer Phoebe Waller Bridge to ensure Nomi had “a fresh female perspective” that was “subtly drawn, believable, perhaps even a little awkward.”
“A character that is too slick, a cast-iron figure? That’s completely against what I stand for,” Lynch said. “I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent. 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.”
“No Time to Die” is currently set for a theatrical release on April 2, 2021.