Lashana Lynch, the 32-year-old British actress, is playing the female counterpart to James Bond’s last movie “No Time to Die”. In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, 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.
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In my ballet lessons, all the girls were white and blonde and, with my cainrows and beads with the foil shining at the tip, I stretched my neck to stand as tall as I was taught to at home. The old, white teacher never gave me the attention everyone else received, which I found odd; even at that age. I knew my worth, because it was instilled in me. But this woman was blind to it. Having good posture in ballet class meant erasing my big backside, which is impossible. She never believed I could stand tall, because to her my backside was in the way of becoming great. The teacher gave up on me. And as soon as I felt that, I told my parents I won’t be going back to the place that didn’t like my backside. Around the same time, I’d found myself spending way too much time sitting in my parents friends bathroom. She had all the Black magazines in there with Black women on the cover. Piece by piece, my backside, my height, my skin, my hair, it all began to make sense. After being neglected in one white space, so many pennies dropped in that bathroom, just by seeing someone who looked like me on the cover. And now, I guess all of those pennies match the amount of pixels it took to present this image to you today. Thank you, @bazaaruk, for allowing me to chose my friend, @yrsadaleyward to interview me and write this beautiful article. Two British Jamaicans collaborating on this was the best thing ever! I’m so proud to be on the front cover of Harper’s Bazaar’s Women of the Year December issue, so that a little me can see it in a shop, on a coffee table, or even a bathroom to give them what I needed in that moment years ago. Here’s to you, little Queen.
“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. 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 declared.
As the movie was expected to be released in 2020, the first trailer for “No Time to Die” was released last December and gave fans a first look at Lynch’s character. Due to Covid-19 shutdowns, the movie will come out in 2021. Lynch revealed she hesitated to join the cast, as she wanted to be sure that her character would accurately portray the life of a Black woman and not get lost “behind the man.” She met with director Cary Joji Fukunaga, producer Barbara Broccoli and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge to ensure Nomi was subtly drawn, believable, and even a little awkward… In the end, she accepted the role.
“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. 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% authentic,” she said.
“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,” she added.
Lynch wants to bring to the entertainment industry a real change, staying true to herself.
“Now we’re in a time when artists have enough collective energy to evoke change. There’s real work to be done, there are frank conversations to be had. A magazine cover is already pretty, the words don’t have to be.”