Actress Lashana Lynch is describing the reaction to her casting as an MI6 agent in the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die as “really mean,” and using other terms such as “dark,” “misogynistic,” and “reminiscent of segregation.”
“The response was generally positive, but there were some very personal messages to me, like Insta DMs and Twitter,” Lynch explained to The Guardian in a recent interview. “And just conversations that my friends had heard or overheard on the subway that were really mean, dark and reminiscent of an age I wasn’t even born in, where women and black people weren’t allowed to move in certain spaces.”
“So it also reminded me about the work that I still have to do to try to change the world in a little way that I know how,” she continued. The Captain Marvel actress also alleged that she’s received racist comments about her casting that could be compared to black England soccer players after the team’s loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final this past July.
“I wasn’t surprised at the response from the football, which is really sad for me to have to say,” she added. “If you are a black person in entertainment or a black person in sport, and you ‘fail,’ you are reminded that you cannot do both. You have to be Black and entertain and win it for the country and win it for the world and win it for history.”
And as “a black woman,” Lynch said she feels a duty to get her role right as she takes over the Bond franchise. “I didn’t want to mess it up.”.
Comedian and actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was brought in to assist with the 007 script, also reportedly assisted Lynch in developing a character that is “quite complicated, free, open-minded vocal human being who brings a really nice twist to MI6,” according to Lynch.
“I said, I want her to be a real woman,” Lynch explained. “I thought there might be a scene where she’s coming out of the toilet and you see her throw her tampon in the bin. We don’t need to make a meal out of it! But we’re in the ladies’ room, you’re going to see someone pick their nose or pull out their wedgie.”
[editor] Hmm. Should we see James Bond flushing a condom too? How about farting? Everyone farts, don’t they?
Trina Parks, another Black actress who co-starred with Sean Connery as the villain “Thumper” in the 1971 Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, and died in 2019, reportedly said that Lynch starring as 007 just does not work — not because of her skin color, but because she is a woman. “Lashana is a great actress, but I don’t really agree with her becoming 007,” Parks said at the time. “It is not about her color, but just because Bond, the spy code-named 007, was written by Ian Fleming as a man.”
“So a black James Bond, sure, I don’t see why that could not be a move, but as a man,” she added. “Miss Bond doesn’t have the same ring to it.”
There’s been some reporting that Lynch is replacing Bond as 007, while other reports say Lynch’s character is only a new agent stepping into his capacity after he retires, but won’t be permanent. Either way, longtime fans of the franchise have criticized any plan that intends to install a female in the role of the protagonist in the 007 films and other media. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are misogynists or racists, but replacing male role models and male protagonists in long running franchises has proved to be unpopular with most fans.
I guess we will know September 30th when Daniel Craig debuts his his fifth and final outing as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond, as directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.