The upcoming Bob Marley biopic, Bob Marley: One Love, is staying true to its producers’ claim of authenticity, as more than a few members of its supporting cast are Jamaican artists and musicians – some of whom are children of real-life associates of the Reggae legend.
Here are the standout Jamaican acts set to make their major film debut in the Paramount Pictures production, set for release on February 14, 2024.
Cowan, who is the daughter of well-known Jamaican singers Dr. Carlene Davis-Cowan and Tommy Cowan, makes her acting debut in a huge role, starring as the iconic I-Threes member Marica Griffiths. Her songs include Paradise Plum, Peace of Mind, Climbing, and Champion Bubblah.
Sevana, whose real name is Anna-Sharé Blake, will play another I-Threes, Judy Mowatt. The 32-year-old artist, who started out with Protoje’s In.Digg.Nation, has been blazing a path of her own since leaving the collective. Her songs include Nobody Man, Haul & Pull, Bit Too Shy, Mango, If You Only Knew, and Lowe Mi.
Aston Barrett Jr.
The multi-instrumentalist Barrett Jr., who will play as his real-life father, Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, makes his acting debut in the film as the veteran Reggae musician renowned for his prowess with the bass guitar. As current leader of The Wailers Band, Barrett Jr. received a Grammy nod for Best Reggae Album in 2020 for the band’s album One World. He had also co-produced Damian Marley’s The Struggle Discontinues off the Grammy-winning Stony Hill album.
Hector Roots Lewis
Hector Roots Lewis is expected to bring life to the role of the long-time drummer of Bob Marley and The Wailers, Carlton ‘Carly’ Barrett. Lewis, a rising talent on the Roots Reggae scene who has worked with acts like Chronixx, is known for songs such as Dusk Til Dawn, Nuh Better Than Yard, Ups and Downs, and Let’s Groove.
Junior Marvin, another member of the legendary Bob Marley and The Wailers, will be represented in the biopic by way of his own son, Davo. Davo, whose real name is David Kerr, is an R&B singer on the come-up, whose unique blend of Reggae and R&B has earned him some acclaim. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, he moved to Miami with his family, where he has since collaborated with Tory Lanez on the song Pull Up. His other songs include Say Something, Slept on Me, and MPR.
Sheldon Shepherd, a founding member and lead singer of The No-Maddz, will make his major film debut, playing the role of Neville Garrick, Marley’s friend and art director, who passed away in November. Garrick was on the set every day as a consultant on the film, according to Director Reinaldo Marcus Green, who told The Telegraph: “He was Bob’s artistic director. He did all the lighting for all the shows, he created all the album art. So there were several key members in Bob’s life that we could tap into and ask questions and consult with.” Shepherd previously appeared in the films Better Mus’ Come (2011) and Yardie (2018), while the No-Maddz’s songs include Shotta, Rocking Time, and Romance.
Gawaine ‘J-Summa’ Campbell
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Gawaine ‘J-Summa’ Campbell will settle into the role of Antonio ‘Gilly’ Gilbert – Marley’s enthusiastic chef on the Exodus tour. J-Summa released his debut single, Heaven and Home, earlier this year.
In the meantime, expectations remain high for the upcoming film, which stars British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley and Lashana Lynch as Rita Marley. It will cover the period 1976 to 1978, including the attempted assassination of Marley and his wife – glimpses of which can be seen in the film’s latest trailer. It will additionally shed light on the making of Marley’s iconic Exodus album, as well as his return to Jamaica following the attempt on his life.
The movie is executive-produced by Orly Marley, wife of Ziggy, Richard Hewitt (Freddie Mercury biopic’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”) and Matt Solodky, general manager of Tuff Gong Worldwide.
Also co-producing are Ziggy, Rita Marley and daughter Cedella Marley, as well as Brad Pitt, Robert Teitel (“Notorious,” “Barbershop”), Jeremy Kleiner (“Moonlight”), Dede Gardner (“If Beale Street Could Talk).