Lashana Lynch explains why spending time with Rita Marley was ‘one of the biggest gifts’

Francis Akhalbey January 12, 2024
British-Jamaican actress Lashana Lynch portrays Rita Marley in Bob Marley biopic -- Left Photo via @lashanalynch on Instagram | Right Photo via GhanaWeb

British-Jamaican actress Lashana Lynch recently sat down with Elle UK and touched on a variety of topics including her portrayal of Bob Marley’s widow in the yet-to-be premiered biopic of the iconic reggae legend. 

In 2022, Face2Face Africa reported that the 36-year-old No Time to Die star had been tapped to portray Rita Marley in the biopic that is now set to hit the theatres in February. Lynch, who spoke with Elle UK for its February issue, touched on the upcoming movie and what it felt like portraying a renowned figure like Rita Marley.

“Getting to know Rita, through spending time with her personally and on the page, has been one of the biggest gifts,” she told writer Afua Hirsch. “Her feminine power is so apparent and mighty that my core has almost received a resurgence by playing her. I could retire tomorrow and feel I went out with one of the best decisions for my spirit, my career and my culture.”

Asked about the relevance of Bob Marley’s story and what it means to her as someone of Jamaican descent, Lynch said: “I get the chance to peel back the layers of my culture through my work again and again. Doing it through Bob and Rita’s story is almost a personal love letter to women like her. I hope Jamaica can feel proud of what we’ve created.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Hirsch asked Lynch about her heritage – that is if she feels Jamaican, British, or Jamaican-British. “I feel Jamaican British at all times, because I lead with my culture for everything,” she said.

“I love the subculture I was a part of in west London. That was a special experience for me. If there’s anything that I represent, as a British Black girl, it’s west London, specifically.”

Hirsch further delved into Lynch’s Jamaican heritage and her occasional talks about properly narrating the stories of her ancestors and representing them the correct way. The 36-year-old answered in the affirmative when she was asked if she felt any unique connection with her ancestors.

“I genuinely have regular conversations with my ancestors – I can hear them, I can sense them,” said Lynch. “I can understand the direction that they’re trying to lead me in. I’ve taken their guidance on everything, and it means that certain things in my life look a little miraculous from the outside, but I know that there’s construction happening on the inside, and it’s because of them.

The biopic, titled Bob Marley: One Love, will premiere in theatres on February 14. Actor Kingsley Ben-Adir will also portray Bob Marley in the movie. Lynch was eventually tapped to portray the iconic musician’s wife after she partook in several trials including doing chemistry reads with Ben-Adir. Her selection to portray Rita Marley was also met without any reservations from the Marley family.

The British-Jamaican actress landing the role also came after she featured in A-list projects including the James Bond film No Time to Die, Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and The Woman King movie.

Bob Marley passed away at the age of 36 in 1981 following a battle with cancer. The deceased reggae icon was a member of the Wailers band when he met Rita Marley. She was a singer at the time. The couple started a romantic relationship while the No Woman No Cry singer was mentoring a music group Rita Marley was part of, Deadline reported.

And as reported by Face2Face Africa, the couple survived an assassination attempt in Jamaica on December 3, 1976. Bob Marley and his band were rehearsing at his home at 56 Hope Road in the neighborhood of both the governor and prime minister when three armed men made their way onto the property. The gunmen shot Bob Marley and his wife, Rita Marley, in what some alleged was a politically motivated assassination attempt.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 12, 2024

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