‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Interview: Kingsley Ben-Adir

Kingsley Ben-Adir at the ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ premiere. Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages.

The new biopic ‘Bob Marley: One Love,’ which chronicles the life of the late reggae singer opens in theaters on February 14th. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (‘King Richard’), the movie stars Kingsley Ben-Adir (‘Barbie’) in the title role.

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kingsley Ben-Adir about his work on ‘Bob Marley: One Love,’ what audience can expect from the new movie, and how he prepared to play the iconic Bob Marley.

Related Article: Movie Review: ‘Bob Marley: One Love’

Kingsley Ben-Adir stars in 'Bob Marley: One Love.'

Kingsley Ben-Adir stars in ‘Bob Marley: One Love.’

Moviefone: To begin with, what would you say to audience members getting ready to watch this movie to prepare them for the theatrical experience they are about to have?

Kingsley Ben-Adir: It’s a movie that’s looking at a specific period of Bob’s life, it starts in 1976. But the journey for me, from the beginning really with Ziggy Marley, with the family, and with Bob’s friends and people who knew him and who loved him, our journey was about trying to tap into a little bit of Bob’s spirit and to find a human side to him. Everyone’s got an idea of who Bob is, but on a personal level, the exploration of trying to understand what he was going through at that time. I feel for the fans or people who don’t know Bob, in the context of this story, to understand him on a personal level is to connect with him on a personal level and is to see the issues that Bob experienced or the struggles that Bob experienced and to feel connected to him. To be like, “Oh, I may have felt that too.” We wanted you to see the human side to him. It’s what was interesting for me in the journey of making the film, but I also think in connecting with audiences emotionally, we have the music for free, people are going to connect with that. But to see him on a journey, a human journey, I hope will have a similar impact, to understand the spirit of Bob a little bit more and to re-engage with the music and the lyrics. When you study Bob’s songs and you understand the full meaning of what he’s saying from the beginning to the end, the power of the music elevates to another level. I had to have an honest conversation with myself and be like, “I didn’t understand everything Bob was saying at the beginning.” I had to really study the language of Jamaican Patois, and I did that with the family and Jamaicans who surrounded the project. It’s an experience where I hope they feel a little closer to Bob maybe.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in 'Bob Marley: One Love' from Paramount Pictures.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ from Paramount Pictures.

MF: Finally, can you talk about your research and preparation for this role and how you approached playing someone as iconic as Bob Marley?

KBA: It was just an understanding from the beginning that there’s only one Bob. I’m never going to try and pretend to be Bob; I can only really try and access a little bit of his spirit and understand and empathize with what he was going through at that time. It must’ve been a lot. He nearly died. Then he had to go into exile in London and he was there for two years, and he made that album and then he got the diagnosis. There was a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders. From human to human, the tribute to him or the love letter from the family is like, “Dad, we see you. We see that you might have been going through some stuff.” But no one had time to see that because he’s got be the tough gun. Bob was the leader of many people; he employed many people. We wanted to tap into the private side of Bob when the cameras weren’t there, when he’s on his own in his room. What was it like when he’s just writing on his own? We had Neville Garrick with us every day on set, and Neville was also with Bob in London at the time in the room when Bob was writing the album. There was this connection of people who were there at the time with him that were with us.

“First he changed music then he changed the world.”

PG-131 hr 44 minFeb 14th, 2024

Showtimes & Tickets

Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley overcomes adversity to become the most famous reggae musician in the world. Read the Plot

What is the Plot of ‘Bob Marley: One Love’?

Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley (Kingsley Ben-Adir) overcomes adversity to become the most famous reggae musician in the world.

Who is in the Cast of ‘Bob Marley: One Love’?

Kinglsey Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in 'Bob Marley: One Love' from Paramount Pictures.

Kinglsey Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ from Paramount Pictures.

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Buy Tickets: ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Movie Showtimes

Buy Bob Marley Music on Amazon


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