Kingsley Ben-Adir & Lashana Lynch Talk Bob Marley’s Legacy & Their Legendary Roles in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ is now in theaters!

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ celebrates the life and music of the icon, Bob Marley, who inspired generations through his message of love and unity. Bob’s powerful story of overcoming adversity and the journey behind his revolutionary music has now hit the big screen.

Kingsley Ben-Adir stars as Bob Marley and Lashana Lynch as Rita Marley in the film. The film covers the assassination attempt made on Bob Marley, the icon touring and recording in Europe, Marley performing at the “One Love Peace” concert in Jamaica, Jamaica’s political problems, the ‘Exodus’ album, Marley’s cancer diagnosis and much more.

AllHipHop’s Rea Davis spoke with Kingsley Ben-Adir & Lashana Lynch about their roles, Bob Marley’s legacy and more!

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AllHipHop: So what would you like viewers to take away from this film?

Kingsley Ben-Adir: I’d like them to feel, for the fans and people who may don’t know about [Bob], but I don’t think that’s very many people, to feel like they understand a little bit more about Bob as a human, and that he was a legend and an icon, and he did so many incredible things in the short space of time that he was here. He was a man from the ghetto, and he found music, and he found God, and he found football, and those were the things he loved and cherished, and he found safety in that. The feeling of community and love and spirit. And of course the music to reconnect with the music and engage with the lyrics perhaps as well in a new way. I understood so much when I started, but when you understand the full meaning of Bob’s songs and the language, it takes it to a new level, and everyone in Jamaica knows. I certainly didn’t, and I had to study the meaning of the songs, you know. He’s talking spirituality and God through most of it, and that’s really powerful to understand what that meant to Bob is huge. So yeah, and I also just hope that they feel like they can go on a journey and they feel some emotion. I hope they feel something. 

AllHipHop: So what was it like playing such a legendary and iconic musician and artist?

Kingsley Ben-Adir: It was amazing. It was…. I feel like there wasn’t a huge amount of time to process it because there was so much work to do from the beginning really. I auditioned, then I was with Ziggy and the family within weeks, and we just got straight to it. There was so much to do, so much to learn, so much to understand, so much time to spend in Jamaica, so many people to meet, I needed to absorb as much as I could to try to understand who Bob was and his most vulnerable moments and what he was going through. There’s only so many books you can read. Having the family there and Bob’s friends who he grew up with. I was very, very lucky in that way. The movie would’ve never happened without all of that. The same way, I feel a huge privilege to have got to spend that much time with them, and for them to trust me and share with me, you know. I just wanted to repay them with the work, you know. That’s another thing about Bob is that his work ethic was extraordinary. Like he grafted. He put everything into his music. He put everything into what he did. He reached the highest level. He created so much music that’s beyond special. Remarkable human being.

AllHipHop: What’s your favorite Bob Marley record?

Kingsley Ben-Adir: “So Jah Seh”.. yeah.

Lashana Lynch:

AllHipHop: What do you want viewers to take away from this film?

Lashana Lynch: Oh, I always find that question really weird to answer because I don’t ever want to put anything on an audience. I want people to come in and just feel it, you know.This is an experience, and experiential movie where you get to learn more about someone that you may already know. Brand new information on someone that you may not know for younger generations. It’s genuinely not called “One Love” for no reason. We’re at a time in the world where we need these vibes. We need to feel the different versions of love, and it’s really timely to have this right now and feel the vibes literally. Feel a bit of Jamaica and also the wisdom that Bob had, and the strength and vulnerability. The grace that Mrs. Marley had and still has. There’s so much. I look forward to seeing what people think myself. 

AllHipHop: So what was it like playing such a strong woman as Rita Marley?

Lashana Lynch: An honor. An absolute honor. As a woman of Jamaican heritage, that is the person that I’d want to play. I never imagined it. It’s not like I thought, “Oh it would be really nice to play Rita Marley one day; hmm let’s see if that happens.” It didn’t come up for me, and I really am glad that she is such an important part of this story that we’re telling here because without her narrative, I don’t know, there’s just certain moments in Bob’s journey that would be empty. From my analysis of it, feels as though, we are taking that behind every man is a strong woman. We’re taking that and flipping it on it’s head and saying, not just a strong woman. We’re seeing death. We’re seeing honesty. We’re seeing holding you to task. We’re seeing your honesty. We’re seeing you bare. She does so much for this man, and we get to tell it. She gets her flowers hopefully in this movie. 

AllHipHop: In your own words, what’s Bob’s legacy?

Lashana Lynch: I think we feel it. I think Bob’s legacy is felt globally just by virtue of him existing giving so much hope to so many people. Reggae has a vibration in and around and underneath the music that is indescribable for me. Bob’s in particular has something that is tapped in somewhere else. It’s just gifted the world this new and still very new after so many years, so very fresh and open and unguarded love for self, I think. I think when you listen to his music, you hear him speak, you just think about loving yourself more, and if you’re any artist, that’s what you want to do. You want to connect, you want people to feel more of their truth. I guess that’s what he did. 

AllHipHop: Lastly, what’s your favorite Bob Marley song?

Lashana Lynch: Girl…um. From when I was a little girl, I loved “Stir It Up.” It was just my favorite to move to, sing to, to clean to because we did the chores to that. “Stir It Up” is one. The whole ‘Exodus’ album. Honestly, his whole…let me just leave it at “Stir It Up.”