‘Bob Marley: One Love’: Kingsley Ben-Adir Reveals The Hardest Part About Becoming ‘Bob Marley’


Kingsley Ben-Adir has already tackled being a revolutionary shape-shifting alien in Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion and a variation of Ken in the hit film Barbie. But his most challenging role thus far was becoming Bob Marley in director Reinaldo Marcus Green-directed biopic, Bob Marley: One Love.

The film follows the life, trials, and tribulations of the iconic Reggae artist, and Ben-Adir does a masterful job in his portrayal as the “Jamming” singer.

The Hardest Part About Becoming Bob Marley

Kingsley Ben-Adir On What He Learned About Bob Marley

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures / Bob Marley: One Love

But becoming Bob Marley is more than just donning fake dreadlocks. Kinglesy Ben-Adir had to learn patois, Marley’s mannerisms and capture his essence, and even singing, all things Marley’s son, Ziggy admits the actor did masterfully.

Speaking with CassiusLife’s Men’s Lifestyle and Pop Culture writer Berard “Beanz” Smalls, Ben-Adir admits that the biggest challenge regarding becoming Bob Marley mostly had to do with playing the guitar.

“Barre chords. Barre chords are very hard. I only got so far with them. I only got so far with them,”  the actor admits to CassiusLife.

He continues, “And I guess just the whole journey of trusting that we weren’t trying to do a mimic or a copy and really letting it settle that this is just trying to get a little bit of his spirit. Psychologically, that just took a while for me to really trust that. We had to start shooting, and the family needed to be there every day. I really needed them, and I really leaned on them, and Neville Garrick and everyone involved who knew Bob and loved Bob, who was a part of my process, really got me through all of those things that can get in your head.”

Kingsley Ben-Adir Says It Was Always A Better Day Working Alongside Lashana Lynch

Bob Marley: One Love

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures / Bob Marley: One Love

Bob Marley: One Love also highlights the singer’s relationship with his wife, Rita Marley, which director Marcus Green admitted was revelatory to him.

Speaking with Ben-Adir about working opposite Lashana Lynch in the film, the actor had high praise for his co-star.

“Lashana and I started working six, seven months before we started filming, so we met really, really early on, ” Ben-Adir reveals. “And so every one of the scenes you see me and Lashana in the film has a whole backstory of work and investigation and fine-tuning. Really what we spoke about was the idea of unconditional Love and how we can create a feeling of this bond between them when we’re not always talking, but you can still feel it. And so yeah, we had a long lead up, Lashana and I. I think she’s a light in the film and she was a light in my life as I was prepping and shooting. I needed her there. When Lashana’s on set, it’s always a better day. It’s a calmer day. I loved working with her and I hope we get to do it again.”

Everything He Learned About Bob Marley While Making One Love Was New To Ben-Adir

Bob Marley: One Love

Source: Chiabella James / Bob Marley: One Love

Becoming Bob Marley, of course, Ben-Adir is required to learn everything about the iconic artist. We asked the One Night in Miami star if he learned anything new about the singer, and he revealed everything he learned while working on the film was new to him.

“Yeah, everything I learned about Bob was new, really. I didn’t really know anything about him at all. I think a lot of people think they know so much about Bob, and actually, he’s an icon and a legend, and people love the music, and they love the spirit of him or the idea of him. But actually, to get to understand a little bit about his humanity with his family and with his friends was a journey,” Ben-Adir said.

He continued, “I feel like everything I learned about Bob was new. Everything. And particularly in this period of time from ’76, the assassination attempt, I didn’t know that happened. I didn’t know any of the details around his journey in London. I knew that Bob had been to London, but I didn’t realize that he came there to stay there and he was there for a minute. And the creation of Exodus really was so fast out of that trauma of the shooting, and they nearly died, and then within a few months, Exodus was up and running. And so I felt like that that was interesting. I was like, “Oh, how out of that trauma do create this masterpiece and how connected it is?” From a psychological point of view, I thought that was worth exploring.”

Bob Marley: One Love, starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, arrives in theaters on Feb.14.