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Rohan Marley Says No Actor Can Play Bob Marley In A Movie… Except His Sons

Rohan Marley Says No Actor Can Play Bob Marley In A Movie... Except His Sons

The long struggle to get a Bob Marley film made has been well documented on Shadow And Act (I recommend reading this post for the details: What we have ended up with after all that is Kevin Macdonald’s documentary MARLEY, which will world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival this month.

The film which they’re calling the definitive film on Marley’s life was made in full cooperation with the Marley family and ahead of its Berlin premiere screening, Rohan Marley, one of the reggae legend’s 11 children, said during a news conference in Berlin that any fiction feature film made about his father will be “uncastable” because no actor he can think of has the ability to embody his father.

Except his sons.

He said: “My father was not just a man, but a spirit dancer. You have to come with that vibration and it is not something you can act. In Jamaica, when you are a light skin, you are the outcast. To play my father, his struggles and how he overcame it all, would require you to bring tears to my eyes. It has to be one of his sons. And we’re not, none of us, in Hollywood.

And Kevin Macdonald added his own $.02 saying that “not even the great Will Smith would find it an easy task.

No offense to Will Smith but I wouldn’t put the wors “great” and Will Smith” in the same sentence. I don’t think even Will Smith would. I’m talking about his acting only which is what I think Macdonald was refering to. And I definitely cannot see Will Smith as Bob Marley anyway.

But I found Rohan Marley’s comments interesting. I wasn’t there so I don’t know if he said those things sarcastically or if he was being very serious.

But I will agree to a point that I don’t know if any known black actor working today can really pull off the role convincingly. Can you?

In the posts that documented the struggles to get a film about Bob Marley made, there’s mention that at one time back in the late 1990s, Rohan Marley was going to star as Bob Marley in a film on the father’s life, and Lauryn Hill was to play Rita Marley. That never materialized. And then in 2006 Jamie Foxx, which I find mindblowing, was to star as Bob Marley in another project that never went anywhere. And since then there have been other projects that got buried but each didn’t have casting announced so we won’t know who was being considered for those.

I will say that I’m glad the Jamie Foxx film never took off because I can’t see him in the role, no disrespect. 

But what do you think? Do you think only Marley’s sons are capable of playing their father in a movie or is Rohan Marley wrong? Who would you cast?

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Mos Def– look no further!

Pj loko

JAMES FRANCO!!! (Been saying this for years)


There's a Dominican-American actor named Victor Rasuk that would be perfect. he's not Jamaican, but has a good patois for West Indian accents. Refer to the movie "Haven" from 2004/05 with Orlando Bloom.


James franco

Franklin Marley ;)



I agree wit Rohan.


Sorry wasn't done my phone took a shit on me I was at saying sorry Rohan but your wrong Lou could def do it I also think that several Marley children could pull off different times in his life would be great and tho a couple Marley children definitely sound like him in there own way I think Stephen sounds like him most no doubt by far ki_mani close second but Stephen should do the singing maybe kimani and ziggy can take some load off Stephen and fill in a lil but Lou diamond Phillips trust me when I say it would work he has the complection skin tone cheek bones perfect look and makeup some dreads and its a wrap!


Your all wrong Lou diamond Phillips looks like bob check out some old pics of bob I know it sounds crazy but I been into bob since I was a young kid I'm 36 now and I saw a pic of bob and still see it today and I thought he looked so much like Lou I was amazed and still see it when I see the pic and although its a young bob pic that the resemblance is undeniable with great makeup he could pull off old and young bob I feel it always have and I live bob everyday so I'm not just talking shit and Lou no offense but a lil weight loss for the young bob would be need and ppl look at one of the best biopics ever la bamba and u know he is a great actor just never got credit he deserved sadly but he would put his heart and soul into it guaranteed and I Lo e ya Rogan but

Carrie Barr

I think ky-mani would be able to stand in those shoes to play a role As his father


I can see Ky-mani in the role. Ky-mani has a reach that is real. I think he could feel the role without a doubt. His life has not been easy growing up and I feel without a doubt, he could pull it off.

bc budz

Can't read your article without Elmo popping up, Jack ass move on ur behalf


I only feel Ky-mani doing it.

christine bodden

him are the legend of the regga


The actor needing to feel the spirit of the dance is a very strong argument. I would not like to see anyone who really couldn't get into it.


Ky-Mani has the vibes and could easily portray him dad so could Ziggy, but Ky-Mani more.


I'm soured on Rohan Marley after witnessing his "relationship" with Lauryn Hill so if he's suggesting someone should offer him the part, I'd have to pass.


RI agree only his son can act like the real thing


No one can play Bob. Absolutely no one. I personally don't think that anyone can pull this off.


only Kymani Marley can play Bob. Period. He has the acting skills to do so. Anybody else and I don't want to see it.


Actually, there's an actor named Ashley Walters, who I saw in the BBC One televison drama titled Small Island. It's from 2009 and well worth the watching, but I thought of him playing Bob Marley almost immediately and wondered why noone had gone after him. here's a short video interview with him:


I agree there's no known Hollywood actor that could play Bob Marley but is the role uncastable? No…I dont believe that…yeah no one in Hollywood looks anything like him. Not to mention, Bob was a Jamaican through and through, so the accent and the cultural mark would have to be on point. I am pretty sure there is an actor out there that can play Bob, it's just he aint in Hollywood right and THAT is okay, so long as he does the part and Marley's legacy justice then who cares if he's making 10 mill or 10 thousand lol As for his sons playing him, no thanks! We don't need you re-enacting your father, that's not acting lol


No known actor can do it. No one resembles him and fake accents would just throw off the whole vibe. Maybe they should look to Jamaica or other islands for that unknown soul, well versed in the culture and the music.


you'd have to get a unknown to do it that has no hollywood baggage or has already been typecast.

any great actor can bring anybody's story to life, bob marley's life is no exception.

looks like we might have to wait till his sons die before a movie about his life is allowed to be made though the way they're talking.

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