ONE LOVE Star Lashana Lynch On Bonding With Kingsley Ben-Adir Over Their Marvel Roles (Exclusive)

Paramount Home Entertainment’s Bob Marley: One Love celebrates the life and music of an icon who inspired generations through his message of love, peace, and unity. In the movie, we discover Bob Marley’s powerful story of overcoming adversity and the journey behind his revolutionary music that changed the world.

Right by his side through all of that was his wife, Rita Marley. A successful singer in her own right, Rita’s story is told in this project by No Time To Die and Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch. 

To mark the movie’s recent Digital release, we sat down with the actor this week to learn more about how she prepared for the role and the pressures which came with telling Rita’s story on screen. Lynch also reflects on the moment this performance clicked into place for her and reveals whether she and co-star Kingsley Ben-Adir (Secret Invasion) bonded over their respective Marvel roles.

We also hear from Lynch on what it was like to shoot one of Bob Marley: One Love‘s most impactful scenes and get her take on Maria Rambeau/Binary becoming a member of the X-Men following The Marvels‘ mind-blowing post-credits scene.

You can check out the full interview in the player below.

The movie is called Bob Marley: One Love, but quite rightfully, it doesn’t understate Rita Marley’s importance to his life and legacy. What did it mean to you to be tasked with doing this incredible woman justice?

It’s meant different things. When I was prepping for the screen test, I was thinking about my family who come from Jamaica and how we settled in England for a new life and I just happened to become an actor and, now, can bring it full circle for my family. Throughout the shoot, I was laser-focused on making sure Mrs. Marley was upheld and I spoke up for her a lot because I want to protect who she is and her legacy. Now, with the movie being out in the world and me seeing the final cut and feeling the energy from everyone, it feels like a really proud moment for the culture, for Jamaican culture, and for cinema as well. I feel like we’ve taken some strides with biopics in general and have a really nice chance here to make sure we have a biopic that’s about a man also, as you said, honoured the woman, her feminine energy, and her femininity. 

Also, she wasn’t reduced to anything. That was where the protection came in for me, just with the shaping of the script. I wanted her to be upheld in all her glory and I felt we were really able to do that here with who she is as a woman, a human, a Rastafarian, a band member, and as a muse. All these things that make her who she is, it just felt good. I’ve been on a real journey and I feel like, literally after I finish speaking with you, I’ll be saying, ‘Oh, there was also this thing that’s come to me…’ Which is really nice!

It’s an awesome performance and I know you’ve talked about spending time with Rita which was really important as well, but do you remember whether there was a specific moment either with her or on set where those meetings helped this role click into place for you?

Yeah, there’s one thing that comes up and I try to think of other things, but this is the main one that got me there. It was the gateway for me. When I went to see her the first time, I’d done all my research, I’d written the book, and done all my own notes. I came with a notebook with empty pages and questions ready to fill them in. I’m quite ‘type A’ when it comes to having things laid out properly and I remember her saying, firstly when I walked into the room, that she felt my energy. That made me feel like she was a superhero of some sort [Laughs]. Actually, she is in her own right. 

She felt my energy and could tell I had the best intentions. When you’re playing somebody who is still on the Earth, all you want is for them to say, ‘This is the person who is going to hold me throughout this process. They’re going to take care of my narrative.’ That was important to me, but the main thing that was the gateway into her was how giddy she got when she talked about Bob to me. When I mentioned his name, she had this teenage, sweet, young, giddy quality that really stuck with me in all of the hard times we’re portraying in the movie and the hard days on set where me and Kingsley had to really pull things out of the bag on the fly. It was that I fell back on, that she loves the bones of this man. The bone marrow of this man! The love is so deep that no matter how fierce she is or how far removed she is in another country, at the height of an argument, that love is pure and real. 

That’s a wonderful sentiment. You and Kingsley had both done big Marvel roles and those projects reach a huge audience. Did you talk about that at all and how you can bring those superhero fans you make to a movie like this which can sometimes struggle for space in theaters against the big blockbusters?

Hmm, I think one thing we spoke about really early on – as well as the fact we’d both touched the Marvel Universe which is mad for two leads of a film because I don’t see that all the time – was we had to trust that Bob is going to sell Bob as Bob no matter what form this film comes in. He’s Bob. he radiates so much light and love and peace and everything he represents is so beautifully loud, that we had to trust it would do its job, naturally. 

Of course, we get to speak to great people like you and we get to talk about it and really connect on the acting experiences that myself and Kingsley have had that led us to this point. I do say a lot that nothing is by chance, and it’s not a chance happening that I’d been in the MCU and he’s been in the MCU. Someone sent me a picture the other day of us both at Wimbledon. I’m sitting like this and he’s in the row in front of me sitting that that. We didn’t know each other then and I don’t think he knew he was playing Bob. All of those things are meant to be. We did talk about the fact this was a full-on departure from the MCU [Laughs]. We’re here playing real people and then a causal superhero in the back. It’s quite funny.

We saw you return in The Marvels’ post-credits scene and I know you never know what’s coming in the future, but you’re part of the X-Men as Binary. How does that feel and are you excited about what comes next?

I mean, even that sentence, I’m like, ‘Am I?’ That’s not a sentence that’s been put to me at all; we’ve not had a conversation about that. I dipped in for, I think a day. I think I had one day on that film which is wild for it to be so impactful. I was there for a day because I was on Matilda at the time, so that’s wild. I don’t know. I don’t know. I used to find it a little bit of a hindrance to not know as I like to know what’s coming and plan, but I love now that I don’t know. I love that I didn’t know that was happening. That’s something that came across time as a slow plan. Well, for me, anyway. They probably had it planned the whole time. I genuinely don’t know what’s next, but I think with where the franchise is going, it’s naturally going to be exciting. And I’m excited to see where it goes next.

It is crazy how they can just throw you into a world like this. Back to this film, there’s that fantastic scene with you and Kingsley in the street arguing about how much your lives have changed and it culminates with Rita slapping him. What was it like working on that scene together? 

That was a big day. Or night. It was a night shoot on the streets of London and it was cold. All we were doing was, me, Kingsley, Reinaldo, and Ziggy, looking at the script and really discussing what we need and don’t need. Do we need silences? Does she really go for a slap? Does she try to but he stops her? There were so many iterations of that scene that could have ended up in so many different ways. We found this really natural calm – and I say calm physically because we weren’t running up and down the street and here, there, and everywhere – it was pretty still for what the argument is. It really depicts that pick she has and she knows where to get him. That was the easy part.

The more challenging part was just making sure we stayed really authentic to these two people in such a heightened space. We don’t know what they were like when they argue. Not even the couple knows what they’re like when they argue because they can’t see themselves. It was challenging in that we didn’t know, but to have Ziggy there on the day gave us a licence to be able to explore it in the most authentic way. I think in the end, me and Kingsley looked at each other and were like, ‘Yeah. Yeah. I think we did it. We put everything out.’ Then we get to go home feeling empty which is the best space you want to be in as an actor at the end of the day.

Bob Marley: One Love is now available to buy or rent on Digital from Paramount Home Entertainment and debuts on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on May 28.