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Exclusive Interview–Alexx A-Game On Becoming BOB MARLEY: ONE LOVE’s Peter Tosh

It’s easy to feel as though we’ve seen the musical biopic through to its final form. One Love threatens to change this. The film is about who Bob Marley is, who his Wailers are, and what they created through music with just enough heart.

A peek into Freddie Mercury’s life via Bohemian Rhapsody brought swathes of award nominations (that are still brought into question to this day); Baz Luhrmann’s glitzy, glamorous touch bled into Elvis’ story with impossible flair in the blockbuster of 2022; and taking Chadwick Boseman and Joaquin Phoenix into the public eye in the shoes of James Brown and Johnny Cash respectively have proven the film structure’s power. Now, though, we stare down the barrel of the future of music biopics not as a means of reflecting a crucial artist’s life, but as a means to win awards. Audiences are growing exhausted with the cinematic appearances of the artists we know.

One Love is a movie that has been a while in coming. Bob Marley and the Wailers have long been contributors to the zeitgeist, but beyond a few “I shot the sheriff’s” here and “three little birds” there, Marley has suffered cultural de-personification much like Che Guevara, being reduced to a T-shirt where he is considered safe for consumption. Yet his story is a crucial one, not only because of the politics he popularized, but because of what he and his musical compatriots represent in the world of becoming a musician, especially in Jamaica. This stands as part of the core of One Love — not just reggae pioneering, not just musical iconography. 

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Few know what this means to the wider music world more than Alexx A-Game, for more reasons than one. Not only is the actor a long-time fan of Bob Marley & the Wailers, but their influence is felt in his everyday life, both as a musician and as One Love’s very own Peter Tosh, establishing member of The Wailers and Jamaican musical icon. Even with A-Game’s heart in the musical world, there was little doubt that the pressure was on.

“It is still a surreal feeling that a top casting agency from Hollywood would consider me fit,” A-Game tells Hollywood.com. “The confidence in me knows that I am fit and I am ready, you know, when that moment your name is being called and associated with such an icon like Bob Marley, and Peter Tosh. It’s a huge honor.”

The honor seems two-fold with A-Game. To take the cinematic reflection of such a crucial musician is one thing, but to step into the shoes of a musical innovator whose impact can be felt tangibly in his personal musical creation is an entirely different beast. The ripple effect started by The Wailers is felt in the artist’s work, so to take the man to the big screen is a truly full-circle moment.

 

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Alexx strikes a pose on the red carpet at the Bob Marley: One Love premiere in Kingston, Jamaica.

 

“I’m a natural-born musician,” A-Game says. “Music is my life. The way I create music is just being inspired by what’s going on around me, what’s going on in my society, and overall, the struggles of me and my people. I was always the type of artist who approached the struggle not from the point of whatever perspective, but more of a solution. And Bob Marley did that. Peter Tosh did that. The solution. That I can identify with.”

Being a musician in Jamaica doesn’t just make you aware of the work of Bob Marley and the Wailers, it makes you a descendant of the world they built, especially in the reggae genre. This hasn’t stopped A-Game from carving out his own style across his career in bands and his solo career, and in a rhythmic sort of way, the messages of his music have come to echo the messages of the film. His latest single, “More Life,” is an appeal for just that — for living life while we have it, mourning those who we lost along the way, and doing them proud by using the time we have on this planet for good. The loss of a close friend at the start of the filming process for One Love made things naturally hard for A-Game, but it has by his own reckoning, culminated in a beautiful body of work.

 

 

“Everybody can relate to that wake-up call you get when you lose someone so close that you love, and you realize that life is so short but that we still have it, and it’s still right in front of us, and the only thing we have to do is live. […] You have to get up with the intention of living every single day. Giving, loving, sharing… it’s about love, bro. One Love definitely resonates with that message.”

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The heart of One Love exists in Alexx A-Game, just has he brought his own heart to his presentation of Peter Tosh, a truly crucial piece of Jamaica’s musical history. There is a lot riding on One Love to show the world who Marley and the Wailers truly were — but A-Game thinks the core message lies in its title.

 

Alexx A-Game (Peter Tosh) and director Renieldo Marcus Green (left) link up on the red carpet at the Bob Marley: One Love premiere event in Kingston.
Alexx shares a moment with castmate Naomi Cowan (left) who plays reggae legend Marcia Griffiths in the film. Photo: Oneil Meikle.

 

“What I’m hoping [the audience] takes away from the film is being able to see things that they probably would have never thought of, and that they probably would never have heard of, and are contrary to the normal view that they have of Bob Marley. There was more of these characters, these people. There was more that made him what he is. And there’s a lot of different sides, because a lot of the time as artists, we don’t get the privilege of showing other sides of us because of what people want. That’s what I really do hope people get to understand, the different elements that make up such an icon. Ultimately I want them to take away the old essence of, you know… One Love, that’s what the world needs. Nothing right now more than love.”

This message seems to wrap Alexx A-Game and his approach to Tosh up perfectly, and it’s reflective of just what the film is designed for. There is the man, and there is the message, and if A-Game’s estimations for the film are correct, we could get to see both spring into bloom in One Love. Bob Marley and the Wailers have been long overdue the chance to spring to life on the big screen, and with the help of A-Game’s Peter Tosh, and in defiance of waning interest in the musical biopic, we’ll finally get to see the real Bob Marley and the Wailers.

A-Game puts it best when he says “it’s about love” — and he has enough of it to sell One Love all by himself.

 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with BOB MARLEY: ONE LOVE.Buy tickets HERE

         For Alexx A-Game’s current and upcoming projects check out his socials: