"Miss Bond doesn't have the same ring to it," says actress Trina Parks in reference to black British actress Lashana Lynch being cast as the new 007 in the upcoming "Bond 25" film. Parks made history in 1971 by becoming the first black "Bond Girl" — starring alongside Sean Connery in "Diamonds Are Forever."
Speaking to The Mirror, Parks said that while she agrees James Bond could indeed be a black man, she could not see the 007 character being a woman.
"Lashana is a great actress, but I don't really agree with her becoming 007," Trina told the outlet. "It's not about her colour — a black James Bond, sure. But as a man. It's just because Bond, the spy code-named 007, was written by Ian Fleming as a man. Miss Bond doesn't have the same ring to it."
That being said, Trina still does appreciate that Hollywood has made steps to feature women action heroes taking on male antagonists. "I like that. But I don’t feel James Bond has to go there," she said. "It's been a tremendous franchise since the 60s, and they’ve always been innovators not followers. They set a standard — that has remained a classic film with a man as Bond. That's how I think it should stay."
The actress also praised the Bond franchise for being a pioneer in representation — which, of course, began with her casting as a villainous assassin in 1971.
"The Bond franchise has gone out of the box with black actors and women of colour more than any other," she said of the franchise. "In Hollywood, production executives were looking at women who were sexually attractive to their societal circles. It's commonplace to see ethnicity in all the Bonds — and, of course, Naomie Harris is Miss Moneypenny and Jeffrey Wright is Felix Leiter."
In the same interview, Trina Parks recalled her first time meeting Connery, whom she described as being "warm and kind" without ever bringing her race into the equation.
"I remember him being groovy, warm and kind. Not once was my race brought into the conversation as he sipped coffee," she said. "He told me, 'I want to meet the person who's going to beat me up.'"
Earlier this month, the Daily Mail quoted an anonymous movie insider who said that "Bond 25" would open with Daniel Craig in retirement, having been replaced by actress Lashana Lynch. The source said that a "pivotal scene" at the start of the film has the character M (Ralph Fiennes) calling agent 007 into his office, revealing that 007 is actually the character portrayed by actress Lashana Lynch.
"There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says, 'Come in 007,' and in walks Lashana, who is black, beautiful and a woman," the source said. "It's a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond, but he's been replaced as 007."
People on social media largely praised the decision to cast Lashana Lynch as the new 007, hailing it as a bold step forward in representation.
"Wow. Lashana Lynch is the next 007. She's not playing Bond, but will take over the code name. Brava, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, for ushering in a new era where WoC can lead a spy series," said sociologist Nancy Yuen.
The movie insider source also confirmed that James Bond will be "sexually attracted to the new female 007" and will be left "baffled" when his seduction tricks do not work on her. The term "Bond girls" has also been removed from popular usage and has now been replaced with "Bond women."
"This is a Bond for the modern era who will appeal to a younger generation while sticking true to what we all expect in a Bond film," the insider said. "There are spectacular chase sequences and fights, and Bond is still Bond but he's having to learn to deal with the world of #MeToo."