Kingsley Ben-Adir Discusses ‘Beautiful Experience’ of Playing Bob Marley and ‘Barbie’ Oscar Noms (Exclusive)

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    Kingsley Ben-Adir has a lot of appreciation for his time portraying the iconic Bob Marley.

    The actor walked the carpet at the premiere of his new film, Bob Marley: One Love, at the Carib 5 Theater in Jamaica on Tuesday — where Prince Harry and Meghan Markel made an unexpected appearance to support the film – and he spoke with ET’s Kevin Frazier about stepping into the music icon’s shoes.

    “I feel like, throughout the last year, [I spent] so much time with Bob in my ear and, you know, trying to find Bob’s voice with his friends and family,” Ben-Adir shared of his process to get into character. “So I wasn’t on my own. I could reach out to them anytime.”

    “[That] has been probably the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had,” he added with a smile. “I’m going to treasure it.”

    For Ben-Adir, the most important thing about making the film was staying true to what is important about Marley’s story and making the towns and cultures of Jamaica proud.

    “We have to work to try and find an authenticity for them,” he shared. “This is a Jamaican movie.”

    And Marley was a Jamaican hero and icon — something Ben Adir has come to learn very well.

    “In this country — forget around the world, the world loves Bob — what Bob means to Jamaica and what Bob means to Jamaican culture, there’s nothing like it,” he shared. “The significance is truly a big, big thing.”

    “I’ve never experienced anything like the love for Bob,” he added, thinking back to the support the film has gotten.

    Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green — and produced in partnership with the Marley family — One Love also stars Lashana Lynch, James Norton, Tosin Cole, Anthony Welsh, Michael Gandolfini, Umi Myers, and Nadine Marshall.

    The project is one of the first authorized biopics of the groundbreaking artist, and Bob’s son, Ziggy Marley, serves as a producer, alongside Rita Marley, Cedella Marley, Robert Teitel, Brad Pitt, Jeremy Kleiner, and Dede Gardner, and executive producers Richard Hewitt, Orly Marley, and Matt Solodky. Bob Marley: One Love hits theaters on Feb. 14.

    While Ben-Adir was celebrating his new biopic, he was also excited for the announcement that Barbie — in which he plays one of the Kens — was nominated for a number of Oscars, including Best Song for “I’m Just Ken.”

    “I sang a little bit in it,” Ben-Adir said of the tune. “[So] if they’re planning on doing some sort of performance of it [at the Oscars], I’m down to come down to join in!”

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