Why Lashana Lynch Doesn’t Fight For A Seat At The Table
Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

Earlier this year, Marvel fans flooded theaters to see its latest release, Captain Marvel. Needless to say, the film excelled at the box office. Brie Larson, the film’s lead received praised for her turn as Carol Danvers, or Captain Marvel, and, to date, the film has earned more than a billion dollars worldwide.

As fans flooded social media to share their thoughts about the film, there was one name that regularly came across our timeline: British actress Lashana Lynch.

Lynch’s turn as Marie Rambeau, a fearless Air Force pilot and Danvers closest friend, became a fan favorite.

“It was an exciting reaction,” Lynch told ESSENCE. “It’s great that Marvel knows to go with their audience. They’ve been doing so much over the years, and especially with Black Panther last year, I think it would’ve been a shame to make the next big Marvel movie and not have a representation that people of color would be proud of.”

In the film, Rambeau and Danvers have a friendship that’s playful, competitive, but built on respect and love. It’s a continuation of recent portrayals of female friendship, women showing up for each other in a variety of ways.

Lynch is no different from her character in that aspect.

Photo by GP Images/Getty Images for Disney Studios

“It’s been a nice learning curve just across my life to be able to be of service to my friends and really go with my gut and saying, ‘I’ve thought about this person right now. Instead of letting them be a passing thought, I’m gonna check in on my friend who’s claiming to be strong. I’m gonna check in on my friend who I’ve not heard from in a while. I’m gonna check in on my friend who I’ve not seen in a while.’ I like to continuously learn how to be a better human being for the human beings in my life.”

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There’s enough room for everybody.

For Lynch, that kind of friendship provides nourishment and provides a different way of existing.

“We know that we don’t need to stand up against each other and think that there’s only one seat at the table and the others need to fight to get in. There’s enough room for everybody, and I’ve learned that through my friends and they’ve learned that through me. So in turn, you get to be a better daughter, and a better niece, and a better neighbor. And life is just better.”

Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

The love and knowledge she receives from those close to her also fuels her strength. Lynch is unashamed of her confidence in a world where Black women are often made to feel as if they should be.

“I come from a long line of good stock,” she said. “My mum’s a strong woman. My grandmother instilled me with all the wisdom that she could, raising me and the grandchildren around her. And I was very lucky to be able to have a female principal in elementary, and a female principal in high school, and a female principal in drama school, so I saw great examples of strong women everywhere.”

It’s easy to see why fans were so attracted to Rambeau’s strength and why Lynch was able to so easily tap into it, but the actress still has her sight set to play characters that are even more complex.

“I enjoy when a character’s fallen short, or is struggling, or trying to find their voice, or trying to just be a good human being because I know that at some point, whether it be in that episode, or in the sequel, or in the next play, I know that they’ll eventually find their voice,” the actress told ESSENCE. “And I think it’s beautiful to see the journey first instead of the finished product.”