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‘One Love’ Star Kingsley Ben-Adir Reveals The ‘Sacred’ Dreadlock Ritual Behind The Film

Ben-Adir, who plays Marley, talks about the special way they made his dreadlocks for the film.

During a recent appearance on The Breakfast Club, Kingsley Ben-Adir, who portrays Bob Marley in ‘One Love,’ shared a look into the lengths the production went to ensure the authenticity of the dreadlocks featured in the film.

Ben-Adir detailed the involvement of a dreadlock specialist, Morris, who played an important role in hairstyling. According to the actor, to respect the cultural and spiritual significance dreadlocks hold for the Rastafarian community, there was a sacred process in the making:

“They were prepping that [the dreads] from the same time I started prepping. Morris, he’s a dread specialist, and you know, it’s not even the hair he did for me. He took all them boys who came from Jamaica, they’re all Rasta, so he took out their dreads by hand, and he put them in sacred boxes, stored them. And then re-did, put new dreads in their hair to suit the characters from the time.”

He then added that this was deeply emotional for those involved:

“When the film was done, he got their dreads and put them back in. But for a lot of them, it was really emotional. And they were doing it because they love Bob and they’re connected to Bob. A lot of the guys who were playing the band members were the children of the actual band members. They’re all Rasta. They took out their hair for the film and put it back.”

This dedication to authenticity extended beyond hairstyles. Ben-Adir, born and raised in London with family roots in Trinidad and Tobago, prepared hard for his role as Marley. This included dialect training with Jamaican linguists, singing lessons, and consultations with Marley’s former bandmates and collaborators.

You can watch the rest of the interview below.

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Defeated ‘Madame Web’ in Box Office

Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and featuring a script co-written by Terence Winter, Frank E. Flowers, and Zach Baylin, ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ tells the story of Marley’s rise to fame and his impact on music and culture. The film premiered on January 23, 2024, in Kingston, Jamaica, and saw a wider release in the United States on February 14, 2024.

‘One Love’ has already made a significant impact at the box office. With an opening weekend that outperformed expectations, ‘One Love’ secured the top spot, surpassing Sony’s ‘Madame Web,’ and has amassed over $81 million worldwide to date.

The film also had a warm reception from audiences, which contrasts with the mixed reviews from critics. Although it had a 43% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences gave the film a 93% rating. ‘One Love’ also had an ‘A’ rating on CinemaScore on an A+ to F scale.

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