Lashana Lynch Confirms She Is James Bond's New 007, Haters Be Damned
In July of 2019, when rumors first began circulating that Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch would be taking the title of 007 in the next James Bond movie, the response from a loud minority of online trolls was both disgusting and disheartening. Though nothing had been confirmed, far right toxic fans complained that a Black woman had been given the title of 007, which had previously only been used by white men (I break down exactly what the 007 designation actually means here).
But, the whining of internet trolls did not get Lynch down. Later that year, without confirming that she had indeed gotten the title of 007, she responded to the backlash.
"It doesn't dishearten me. 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," she said in November of 2019. "It's not about me. People are reacting to an idea, which has nothing to do with my life."
Now, in a new interview with Harper's Bazaar UK, Lynch has confirmed that she will indeed be the first Black woman to take on the title of 007. Lynch told the magazine how she prepped herself emotionally for what would be the inevitable and horrible backlash. She unplugged from 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.”
It's true. This is the same long-delayed movement happening across all of Hollywood's major tentpole franchises, including Marvel and Star Wars. We've seen similar backlash in other properties to other actors who are not straight white men.
And it sounds like Lynch's 007 is going to bring a much-needed new perspective to the Bond franchise. In No Time to Die, her character Nomi is expected to pick up the title of 007 while Bond is living in exile in Jamaica. She told Bazaar that she worked with writer Phoebe Waller Bridge to ensure the 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.”
Let's hope we can actually see Nomi in action by April of 2021, when No Time to Die is currently scheduled to be in theaters.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.