Ziggy Marley, Kingsley Ben-Adir And Writer Reinaldo Marcus Green Discuss Why ‘One Love’ Is Needed Right Now

This is “not a vanity project” because “it has meaning and purpose behind it,” said Bob Marley’s son, Ziggy.

At the height of his career, Bob Marley was diagnosed with melanoma, a type of skin cancer, and in 1981, he lost his fight with the battle. Still, 43 years following his death, Bob's inspiring connection to music and God continues to bridge hope for humanity.

Best known for hit singles “Don’t Worry About A Thing” and “Jamming,” Bob’s impact on the music industry endures. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and then in 2001, the musician was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

“My father’s music has longevity because of who he is as a person and how people perceive him. It's not just about the music or the legend, but it's about the person my father was because he was a people person,” said his son Ziggy Marley.

Capleton Shares How Bob Marley’s Vibe Makes Him a ‘Different Kind of Human’

With the release of a new biopic, "Bob Marley: One Love" –now in theaters– which tells the story of the star’s life underwritten by music, his childhood and career are captured in an authentic way for early fans of the legendary Reggae artist and those new to the genre.

The film is led by an all-star cast featuring "Barbie" star, Kingsley Ben-Adir, who portrays the iconic singer, and "The Woman King's" Lashana Lynch who plays Bob's wife, Rita Marley. The couple's son, Ziggy, also serves as a producer on the film, alongside director Reinaldo Marcus Green, who is known for the 2021 Oscar-winning film "King Richard." caught up with Ziggy, Ben-Adir and Green to discuss “One Love,” though he eyes of Bob and how his messages of peace and love lives on. How has your father’s legacy inspired you as a producer?

Ziggy Marley: I was inspired by him before he left a legacy. My father and my mother are an inspiration to me in different ways. I am inspired by their example, their discipline and their approach to music, the meaning of music and what music can do, and just how they are as human beings. I think that's how they inspire me. It's not about what he left behind, but the experience I had with him while he was here. How does it feel to see his life play out on screen for the entire world to see?

Ziggy Marley: It's not just about him, but it's about his message too which is more important. And so I'm happy that it's not a vanity project. It has meaning and purpose behind it. That's what I'm most happy about. When you watch his movie, or when you see the billboards driving by on the streets, that is putting something into your consciousness that is needed right now in this time. This is the vehicle that is doing that. That is the most important thing. If your father were alive today, do you think he would have given this film his blessing?

Ziggy Marley: This movie is blessed because there's a purpose behind it. I think he's happy with that. What drew you to this role to portray Bob Marley?

Kingsley Ben-Adir: I found that his family were producers and when I spoke to them, their intention was really pure and clear that they wanted to share a more human side of their dad because for so many of us, he's an idea. I really loved that as an actor. I thought that would be beautiful because there was no pressure to mimic him or to do an impersonation of him, or to try to be exactly like him. It was really just a spirit thing. He spoke about spirit and feeling and I thought that would be crazy to walk away from. After being cast as the reggae legend, how did it feel to step into his shoes to bring his story to life?

Kingsley Ben-Adir: It felt like we had a huge amount of work to do. He's an artist and a musician and that was something that I was learned, [in addition to] the language, and culture. It was a huge amount of work to do so we just cracked straight on and started trying to figure it out little by little. Portraying Bob required you to submerge yourself into immense research. Take us into the explorative aspects within his life and career that prepared you for this role?

Kingsley Ben-Adir: Cedella Marley sent me a file that had hours and hours of Bob's interviews from over the years that only the family had. I opened it and I just started listening to them. And so I thought it would be a good idea to start transcribing them, because there was a lot in the language I didn't understand. So I just took one at a time and wrote them out. And then I asked Jamaicans that I grew up with to come to my house to help me translate. Eventually when they were all transcribed, I’d go on long walks, listening to him and trying to wrap my mouth around how he spoke. Then I started learning [how to play the] guitar. It was just one day at a time trying to get as much in as I could. Was there an extra layer of pressure to tell this story with Ziggy Marley, among other family members as producers on the film?

Reinaldo Marcus Green: There's always pressure. We had early conversations about the type of movie I wanted to make so I never felt like we didn't understand the type of thing that I was after. We were aligned from early on. And part of that is when things are right and when things are wrong. It's being able to ask questions or ask the right questions and get support because you know, we're making a foreign language film with no subtitles. There are things in patois that I don't understand [so I had] to rely on the family to help guide that process of language because there are nuances to the language which can change a sentence, [or] can change the meaning of a word [and] can change the meaning of a whole scene. To get that right, I couldn't do that by myself. I needed the family there. So it was a true collaborative effort. I felt like I had an extension of Bob on set with Ziggy there. His mannerisms, his demeanor, his disposition; what a wonderful person. What do you hope audiences take away from the film?

Reinaldo Marcus Green: I hope they get a deeper introspection into who Bob was and what he was singing about. I felt like I had heard his songs dozens and dozens of times, but then in making the movie I realized I didn't know anything about the music in a real way. This film was an opportunity to dive into those lyrics that took on a new meaning for me. It only made me love him more. So I know it'll be different for everybody, but his message of unity, peace, and love [is what I hope people take away]. It's incredible and I hope that helps to unite people.

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