Ziggy Marley Praises Fae Ellington’s Dialect Coaching In ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Film

Veteran Jamaican broadcaster Fae Ellington received glowing praise from Ziggy Marley for her work as a dialect coach on the Paramount Pictures biopic, Bob Marley: One Love.

Ellington coached both Jamaican and non-Jamaican actors on the nuances of the Jamaican language specific to the 1976-1978 period – a pivotal era in Bob Marley’s life.

Ziggy took to Instagram on Wednesday (March 6) to express his deep gratitude for her invaluable contribution to the film, which has garnered some acclaim, particularly for the non-Jamaican actors’ convincing Jamaican accents.

“I want to give a hug of gratitude and thanks to our sister, friend, mother figure, godmother, aunty dialect coach, Patois language authority, historian, our 🇯🇲 national treasure, a great example of a human being, the beloved and treasured @fae.ellington affectionately know as ‘ Aunty Fae’ on set and off,” Ziggy wrote alongside a series of photos from the set in Jamaica.

He continued: “I can say so much about this woman and every Jamaican who worked with us on the film know what I’m talking about. I use to hear her on the radio when i was going to school “On the Morning ride.” We love you Fae and thank you for your guidance, energy, work ethic, knowledge, persistence and presence. JAH.”

Ellington, in an interview with The Gleaner, had modestly downplayed her individual contribution to the film, emphasizing the collaborative effort behind the actors’ successful portrayal of their roles.

She acknowledged the expertise of Dr. Joseph Farquharson, who heads the Jamaica Language Unit at the University of the West Indies, and Brett Tyne, an American based in the UK, who specializes in dialogue and dialect coaching. She also commended British actors Kingsley Ben-Adir (Bob Marley) and Lashana Lynch (Rita Marley) for their commitment.

“The actors, particularly Lashana Lynch, who portrayed Rita, dedicated themselves to understanding their characters deeply. Lashana spent about four hours with Mrs Marley, while Ben-Adir spent many hours talking with Bob’s friends and relatives, and investigating not only the legend’s physical and day-to-day life and mannerisms, but also his spiritual side that has pulled persons from all over the world together,” Ellington said.

Ziggy Marley, Fae Ellington (Photo: Instagram/@ziggymarley)

She told the Gleaner that she was pleased with the cast’s performance.

“Getting an accent right depends on many things, one of them is the length of time you have to spend on it, and also the ability of the person to pick up the accent quickly,” she said.

“Accents are easy for some people, and not for others. You need a lot of time to get accents right, the Jamaican accent in particular. If you don’t have that time, you won’t have the same results, but I think the cast members did extremely well.”

She added: “It was a team effort but I’m very honoured and privileged, and, looking back, it makes me feel that I am valued for what I have garnered over the years. It also makes me feel valued for my knowledge of our Jamaican culture and how I’ve used the language with no shame, but with elegance and competence. I’m honoured to have the ability to go between both our languages with such ease. I feel good so till!”

Bob Marley: One Love is Ellington’s fourth dialect coaching credit, adding to her filmography that includes Sprinter (2018), Black Cake (2023), and the upcoming Get Millie Back.

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