Lashana Lynch is opening up about the backlash she's been facing for her role in No Time to Die! Lynch plays "Nomi"— an MI6 spy who becomes the new "007" — in the newest James Bond movie, and in a new interview, she talked about why she feels that people have been critical of the casting decision.

Lynch feels race and gender contributed to criticism

Lynch told Harper's Bazaar U.K. that she believes her gender and race fuelled the vitriol towards her, which ended up leading her to delete her social media apps. "I am one Black woman -- if it were another Black woman cast in the role," the actress said, "it would have been the same conversation, she would have got the same attacks, the same abuse." 

As the first woman and person of colour cast as "007" in the spy franchise, Lynch is aware of the significance that people discussing her playing the iconic role has. "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," she said.

Lashana Lynch as "Nomi" in No Time to Die (2021).

Lynch talks about portraying "authentic" Black experience

Lynch went on to talk about what made her want to take on the role of "Nomi" in No Time to Die, which will now be released on April 2, 2021. "A character that is too slick, a cast-iron figure? That’s completely against what I stand for," she explained. "I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent.

"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," Lynch continued. "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."

Lynch also commented on how playing "007" is important to her as a woman because of the shift it represents. "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."

Sean Connery starred as the iconic spy agent, "James Bond".

Which actor was the very first to star as "James Bond"?