Matilda star Lashana Lynch says it’s a ‘revelation’ to learn Miss Honey is a queer cottagecore icon

A still from Netflix's Matilda: The Musical showing actor Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey wearing a turquoise shirt and pink cardigan sitting a desk in a classroom

Lashana Lynch, who plays Miss Honey in new Netflix adaptation of Matilda: The Musical, has spoken about how she discovered the beloved Roald Dahl character is a queer icon.

Miss Honey is the caring teacher-turned-mother who takes Matilda under her wing at school and figures out there is more to her than meets the eye, in Dahl’s iconic children’s story.

We soon discover she is a caring woman living by herself in a cottage and estranged from her family, and thus, the sapphic theories begin.

Over the past few decades, countless queer women have shared an affinity with Miss Honey and her cottagecore life, with many attributing their “gay awakening” to her – especially when Embeth Davidtz took up the role for the 1996 film, and brought such charismatic and warm energy to the character.

And it seems Lynch has caught on to the “really special” queer legacy, telling EW: “It wasn’t something I was aware of until I saw some comments on social media and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a revelation to me.’

Alisha Weir as Matilda and Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey on the set of Netflix’s Matilda: The Musical. (Netflix/Dan Smith)

“One of my queer friends said to me after I got cast, ‘Oh my gosh. She was like my gay icon when I was growing up. And I was like, ‘Tell me more. What did you see? What was it? Do I need to be aware of anything?'”

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Now she’s experienced the fandom, Lynch completely understands. “When there’s a character that is beloved, that represents everything to you and can speak to all people, all races, all sexes, all walks of life, then that is the perfect character.

“You don’t have to do anything else apart from just being, and every community is going to get what they need from this one person.

“That’s really special. That’s a secret weapon. If you can have a character like that in every film or every play or every book that everyone from every walk of life can take something from.”

And Lynch brings all that and more to the role, with fans sharing their love for her take, even joking Beyoncé clearly wrote her song Pure/Honey about the Miss Honey.

1996 Matilda actor Mara Wilson has previously spoken about why Miss Honey has a lesbian legacy, saying: “It was one of the few children’s films to show a strong, resilient female character overcome adversity and a family that did not understand her to create her own family and her own happiness through hard work and friendship.

“Also, they all have crushes on Miss Honey.”

Matilda: The Musical is in UK cinemas now, and is available on Netflix in the US.

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