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Daniel Craig Reveals How Lashana Lynch And Phoebe Waller-Bridge Changed And Improved The Idea Of A Double-O Agent

No Time To Die not only represents the final entry in the Daniel Craig era of James Bond, but it also represents one of the most progressive films in the 007 series. Through Léa Seydoux’s Dr. Madeleine Swann, we’ve seen the idea of the Bond Girl progress into the pinnacle of what a Bond Woman should represent. But through the work of actor Lashana Lynch, and No Time To Die co-writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, even Mr. Craig himself saw yet another improvement when it came to their vision of a modern 00-agent.

While speaking with both Daniel Craig and Lashana Lynch during our No Time To Die interview, I approached the subject of how after James Bond retires from active service, Ms. Lynch’s character Nomi gets the 007 designation. Leading to a bunch of jokes where confusion over who’s being talked about when “007” comes up, I was curious if it led to any sort of real life instances of that very same pratfall on set. Both actors responded to this question with their own round of praise for each other, and here’s what Daniel Craig had to offer, in praise of both Lashana Lynch and No Time To Die co-writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge: 

I know you’ve picked out something right now that’s of interest, and it is of interest, and it’s a great plot point. It’s an important thing in the movie, but what’s more important is the relationship [James Bond and Nomi] have in the movie. Lashana came into this part, and we had an idea, with the help of Phoebe [Waller-Bridge] and the other writers, the part grew. But it’s Lashana’s performance that makes this what you want to go see. The 007 designation, all of that, is sort of a sideline compared with what Lashana brings to this film. So that’s what people, I hope, are going to be looking forward to.

As we’ve seen an unfair bit of uproar over Nomi getting the 007 number in No Time To Die, Daniel Craig is absolutely right in pointing out that the relationship between James Bond and Nomi is a sticking point that should attract viewers. At times antagonistic, but also supportive, Bond and Nomi compete to see who’s recognized as 007 among their peers. However, it’s not a regressive comedy beat that belittles either character, as one can practically see both agents primed to team up when the chips are down. And No Time To Die certainly has its fair amount of chip throwing throughout the almost three hour adventure.

Representing a new generation of 00-agent, as well as Bond women in general, Lashana Lynch’s Nomi is just as brash as her predecessor. Not only can she be more tactical in how she handles a situation, but she’s also better at adopting another persona to accomplish her mission. Her introduction in No Time To Die sees that latter skill set become important, as she’s hired to keep an eye on Bond for some very specific reasons. By the time the third act showdown kicks in, with James Bond and Nomi teamed up to infiltrate the lair of the evil Safin (Rami Malek), we see Her Majesty’s secret agents become a really effective team.

Writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s work on No Time To Die’s script deserves just as much praise as well, as one can feel the Fleabag creator’s voice very strongly throughout the film. Instances like James Bond and Ana de Armas’ Paloma bantering through the latter agent’s first mission clearly come from the tone of Waller-Bridge’s pithy pen. And, of course, scenes like where Nomi threatens to shoot James Bond in “the [knee] that works,” are also indicative of just why Daniel Craig was a staunch defender of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s No Time To Die hiring. 

Lashana Lynch’s presence in the third act only further highlights Daniel Craig’s glowing recommendation of her No Time To Die performance. When Nomi and Bond split up, the audience gets to follow both of these capable agents on their own quest lines. Switching back and forth between the two, it’s only made clearer that both of these protagonists are carrying their scenes with such style, you kind of wish they had their own movies. 

James Bond obviously doesn’t need his own film, and neither does Daniel Craig, as No Time To Die is both the 25th Bond adventure and Craig’s fifth and final outing in the role. But the future could always see the prospect of Lashana Lynch’s Nomi returning for her own potential spinoff. No one knows how likely that prospect is, but even Ms. Lynch knows that if this is the only time we see Nomi in action, she’ll have left a lasting impression on the moviegoers who really take to her action fueled escapades.

It’s all available for audiences to see for themselves, as No Time To Die hits US theaters in early showings this evening, after already opening in various international territories. Should you have already taken this ride, and need a cinematic breather from this epic conclusion, check out the 2021 release schedule! We promise it’s for your eyes only.  

Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.