'If it were another Black woman cast in the role, it would have been the same conversation," the actress notes.
Lashana Lynch says stepping into 007's shoes as a Black woman was anything but easy. In July 2019, it was reported that Lynch's character, Nomi, in the upcoming James Bond movie, No Time to Die, would be taking the beloved spy's license to kill, making her the first female and the first person of color to take on the role of 007.
However, Lynch tells Harper's Bazaar U.K. that the historic news led to her deleting her social media apps after an onslaught of criticism. The 32-year-old British actress recalls meditating and only seeing family during that time.
"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 says. "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 is committed to representing Black people onscreen in a real way, and feels she did so in No Time to Die.
"A character that is too slick, a cast-iron figure? That’s completely against what I stand for," she explains. "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."
As for taking on a role that has only been played by men in the past, Lynch adds, "I feel very grateful that I get to challenge those narratives. 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."
No Time to Die will be released on April 2, 2021. In the meantime, check out the action-packed trailer for the 25th Bond film.