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Be the Change

Lashana Lynch makes history as the new 007 in ‘No Time to Die’

The actress is the first Black woman to take up the mantle in the James Bond universe.

Lashana Lynch is a talented, stunning, and beautiful British-born Black woman and actress with a big reason to celebrate. Her new role in a major franchise is confirmed. She is ready to make history as the New 007 in ‘No Time to Die.’ Why? Lynch is the first Black woman to take up the mantle in the James Bond universe.

According to Harper Bazaar, when news leaked last year in April that a Black woman would be inheriting the 007 title from James Bond in the upcoming movie ‘No Time to Die,’ racist 007 fans attacked her with negative and hateful comments. In response, Lynch deleted her social media apps and focused on self care.

For the following week, she meditated and chose to see no one but her family. It also gave her bittersweet comfort knowing the hate wasn’t personal - it would have happened to any Black woman. “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 in an interview with Harper Bazaar. “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.”

Lynch explained in her interview that she had reservations about joining another franchise or getting lost “behind the man.” The actress wanted to make sure the film would have the black experience in mind and would not be a wasted opportunity. “I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent” she explained. “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.”

The ability to stay true to herself as an actress is something she learned over time. “As I have come more into myself, I have found ways to remain respectful of others but still true to myself,” she said. “If something felt misrepresented or inaccurate – for example, the dynamic between a mother and her child, or the way we might wrap our hair to sleep at night... I had to learn to speak up. I’ve been cast to tell an authentic story, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

Because of her authenticity and power, Lynch knows her role is the representation and change the world needs- and she‘s grateful. “I feel very grateful that I get to challenge those narratives,” she said. “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 hopes other artists will use their social capital to make the same positive change. “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.”

No Time to Die’ is in cinemas on 2 April 2021.

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