No Time to Die: Lashana Lynch reflects on racist and misogynistic backlash to 007 casting

She said trolls ‘have the freedom to live their truth’

No Time To Die - Trailer

Lashana Lynch has reflected on the racist, misogynistic online backlash to her casting as 007 in No Time to Die.

The actor plays a “female version” of 007 in the new Bond film, alongside Daniel Craig’s spy. Her character Nomi entered active duty after Bond retired following the events of Spectre.

When her casting was revealed in 2019, Lynch was subjected to abuse from trolls who argued 007 should only be played by a white man. Speaking in a new LA Times interview, Lynch has now said: “I don’t have anything to say to the trolls apart from it’s none of my business what you think, you have the freedom to live in your truth just like I have the freedom to live in mine.”

Lynch is only the fifth Black woman to have a major role in a Bond film across 25 movies, with Gloria Hendry, Grace Jones, Halle Berry and Naomie Harris making up the other four.

“They were fantastic,” Lynch said of her predecessors. “When Halle Berry was in it, when Naomie was in it – who’s now a friend so I appreciate her even more – it just meant that I could relate to this very quintessentially English franchise and actually relate it to my life. I didn’t need to be a fighter or know how to handle a gun or anything like that to be able to relate to these women. They just felt like members of my family onscreen.”

She said she hopes her casting inspires young Black women, adding: “We know how it feels to be mis- and under-represented and we know how it feels to yearn for someone, anyone in the world to speak our truth for us when we feel like we don’t have a voice. And I’m hoping that my career and my choice in roles and me just being me, authentically, is shining a light on our power.”

No Time to Die, which is Craig’s final outing as 007, has been met with several delays due to the pandemic.

The film, which also stars Léa Seydoux, Harris and Rami Malek, was originally supposed to hit screens in April 2020.

Studio bosses have since confirmed that the 25th James Bond film will arrive in cinemas on 30 September.

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