Lashana Lynch is making history as the first Black woman to take on the legendary role of 007 from the James Bond franchise. Rumors had been swirling that the actress had secured the role in the next installment of the long-running franchise, No Time to Die, but now it’s been confirmed. She’ll be taking over for Daniel Craig during his absence from MI6.
Plot details indicate that Lynch will not necessarily take over the “James Bond” role, but rather serve as a replacement for exiled 007 Craig. In the Bond movie, her character Nomi is expecting to pick up the title of 007 while Bond is living in exile in Jamaica.
In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, Lynch talked about how she prepared herself emotionally for potential backlash over the announcement. She also claims she shut off social media and reminded herself that the disgusting comments were not about her 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.”
She told Bazaar that she worked with writer Phoebe Waller Bridge to make sure her new character 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 scheduled to be in theaters in April 2021. It’s yet unclear whether the coronavirus pandemic will affect the release date or location of the film.