Daniel Craig and Lashana Lynch talk James Bond after No Time to Die

No Time To Die has been a long time coming. Daniel Craig’s last James Bond movie promises to an action-packed spectacular and will introduce a new 00 agent, played by Lashana Lynch, who promises to shake up the franchise.

Speaking briefly to GamesRadar+ and Total Film, Craig and Lynch both touched on their hopes for the James Bond franchise’s future, with Craig reflecting on leaving the series “in a better place than where I found it”. They also joked about the advice Craig gave to Lynch, which was – spoilers – absolutely nothing at all.

Here’s the Q&A, edited for length and clarity.

Thanks for making time for us today. Very excited to finally see this one. My first question’s for Lashana. What was the best piece of advice Daniel gave you when joining this franchise?

Craig (laughing): She wouldn’t listen anyway.

Lynch: Diddly.

Craig: Diddly. Absolutely diddly.

Lynch (doing a goofy Daniel impression): “Good luuuuck.”

Craig: Over to you!

Lynch: Exactly. I’ll just sit here with my tea. There’s actually just so little time to talk. Everyone’s just so busy in their departments.

Craig: We were incredibly lucky to get Lashana. She didn’t need advice. We just got on with it. I didn’t need to give her anything. Any advice. She’s a consummate, brilliant professional actor, and just came in and knocked out of the park.

Lynch: I didn’t say that, he said it. 

Bond is, obviously, so iconic. And he’s always changed with the times. When Daniel came in, you were a more serious Bond. So I was just wondering, going forward, what would you like to see from Bond as a character and a franchise? How would you like to see it reinvent itself going forward?

Craig: I think that’s what we’ve done. I was given a chance, an incredible opportunity when I was given this role, to do something different with it, and that I’ll be forever grateful for. I wanted to, not bring it up to date in an obvious way, but to make it as relevant as possible. 

First and foremost, we make Bond movies, and Bond movies have all of these things that go on and tropes, and I wanted to subvert every single one of them. And I think we achieved that, over the years. And with this one we’ve gone even further. I’ve always said it, get the best we can. We can afford it, so get the best we can. And getting the best actors for the job is what it’s about. 

Moving forward, thankfully, it has nothing to do with me. It’s not my business. But I wanted to try and leave it in a better place than where I found it. I thought it should always get better. And I would hope for that’s what happens in the future.

Lashana, in a similar sense, how do you feel like your character brings that sense of modernity to the franchise? How does she reflect society today?

Lynch: She’s the woman who’s right in the center of this change and this shift in consciousness that’s happened throughout the world, and my culture specifically. She’s a great example of the kind of women that I meet every day, the kind of women I grew up with as well, and who I would really love to be reflected on screen for the rest of my life. I would love for my future daughter to just see a character like Nomi as the norm. That would be my dream, and actually, I think that that is going to happen. 

This shift that the franchise has gone through, I’ve come in right at the perfect time to say, “Look, this is an example. Everyone else, other franchises, other filmmakers, lead by this example,” because this is done so well, that I think steering away from this kind of strength, with these kinds of nuances, would be a shame. I’d like to see a continuation of this, which will be done in this franchise, but across the industry.

No Time To Die is in UK cinemas from September 30 and US theaters from October 8. For more, check out our extended interviews with the cast of Bond on the making of No Time To Die.

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