After multiple delays due to the pandemic, Bond: No Time To Die finally had its splashy world premiere in London last night. This is Daniel Craig’s final appearance as James Bond, his final promotional run in support of the iconic character that made him a superstar. His date for the night: daughter Ella Loudon, now 29 years old. His attire for the night: a berry velvet tuxedo jacket, I love it. He looks relaxed, he looks like he’s having a good time, he looks like he’s ready to leave it. “But to whom,” people keep asking.
Daniel’s response to that last night cracked me up. When asked if he had a preference as to who would succeed him, this is how he answered:
“Not my problem.”
He just flipped down his sunglasses and peeled out of the parking lot. Byeeee!
There is, for the purposes of this film anyway, a new 007 – and she’s played by Lashana Lynch. This is not a spoiler; it’s been made quite clear that part of the No Time To Die story, at least at the beginning, that James Bond’s designation has been reassigned. Lashana and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who co-wrote the movie, worked together to give Lashana’s character more depth and nuance.
And while being in Captain Marvel was already a big deal for Lashana, the Bond franchise is another level. As she told The Guardian:
“To have a female agent who is a Black woman, and who is young and new and fresh and very modern in her approach to her work, I think hasn’t exactly been seen before in Bond movies. And I didn’t want to mess it up.”
That’s the added tax that’s often paid by actors of colour in these franchises. “Messing up” doesn’t just have personal consequences but often it feels to them like they’re holding up for an entire community.
But what a meteoric rise it’s been for Lashana who, in 2017, after the cancellation of Still Star-Crossed, was still working for the NHS and basically broke. In just four years, she’s been in a Marvel movie and is now, presumably, a Bond regular. There’s also a lot of work in the pipeline, including a role in Matilda the Musical as Miss Honey, the lesbian icon.
For now though, let’s enjoy this moment for Lashana. She wore a spectacular custom Vivienne Westwood to the premiere in honour of her Jamaican heritage:
More on the Bond premiere to follow.
Yours in gossip,