No Time to Die star Lashana Lynch says her character is written as both awkward and relatable. Lynch, who played Monica Rambeau in Captain Marvel, is set to play Nomi, a new MI6 agent who is assigned the number 007 after James Bond had gone into retirement. No Time to Die, the newest Bond film from director Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective season 1), is scheduled to release wide in the US on October 8.
No Time to Die is the 25th film in the Bond franchise and the 5th starring Daniel Craig as the iconic British spy, though the actor has said this will be his final outing. The film picks up five years after the events of Spectre, which ended in the capture of classic Bond baddie Blofeld, and sees the retired spy lured back into service after the abduction of a scientist. No Time to Die features a number of familiar faces, including Léa Seydoux as Bond’s love interest Dr. Madeleine Swann and many members of the MI6 team: Ben Whishaw’s Q, Naomie Harris’ Moneypenny, and Ralph Fiennes’ M.
Lynch’s Nomi is new to the fold, however, and in an interview with the Guardian, the British actress claims she had a clear vision for her character from the beginning. She met with co-writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) to chat Nomi’s competence and relatability, wanting her to be a great spy but still capable of human awkwardness. Waller-Bridge, according to Lynch, got the idea right away:
I said, I want her to be a real woman, but I don’t want her work to make her masculine. She’s not slick. She has it together, she’s highly competent and very highly skilled, but she’s a real human being and sometimes she’s awkward. And that’s what is so clever about Phoebe’s writing. Once we’d had a conversation about her possibly being awkward, there were some moments that I read that were just like, ‘Oh no, is she really going to say that in the scene? I’m so here for it! 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. Bottom line: this woman is going to be relatable.
Elsewhere in the interview, Lynch discusses the arduous audition process, which included the stunt team running her through some weapons choreography, and laughs off the rumors that she is to replace Craig as Bond long-term. She believes the filmmakers were looking for someone who could be a match for and stand up to Bond, but as the No Time to Die writing process evolved, Nomi “became this quite complicated, free, open-minded vocal human being who brings a really nice twist to MI6.” Lynch says she enjoyed her spy training and impressed the crew by emerging unscathed from her many stunts over the course of the shoot.
Lynch’s approach is definitely fresh for this franchise – relatable isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind when trying to describe the Bond films. It certainly does explain why Waller-Bridge was brought onto the No Time to Die team, as she quickly made a name as an excellent developer of character after creating the TV series Fleabag and Killing Eve. Bond fans should hope she brings her comedic touch to Fukunaga’s film, as the director is known for dark, serious projects and viewers of the longest Bond film ever made will probably be grateful for some levity.