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Lashana Lynch Says Her Mom Cried After Seeing Her Play Bob Marley's Widow: She's 'Major Proud' (Exclusive)

The BAFTA winner’s parents are still trying to process their daughter’s success, she tells PEOPLE

<p>Tristan Fewings/Getty </p> Lashana Lynch (right) and her mother on Sept. 28, 2021

Tristan Fewings/Getty

Lashana Lynch (right) and her mother on Sept. 28, 2021

Lashana Lynch's parents were very emotional seeing her play a Jamaican icon on the big screen.

The British actress most recently took on the role of Bob Marley’s wife, Rita Marley, in the biopic One Love, a feat that she says honored her goal of bringing her identity to every project and made her parents incredibly emotional.

“It's my culture and I love it. But the fact that I was at the forefront and playing someone that my parents watched growing up, that's a part of the fabric of who they are is wild,” Lynch says.

The film centers on Bob (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and Rita’s relationship, family and struggles as the musician gains fame and attempts to hold a series of concerts for peace on the island, a story that Lynch’s parents know firsthand.

“When I've asked my parents questions, they still don't really know how to articulate it, which I love watching … How do you find the feeling of, I've left Jamaica to find a better life in England, just happened to have this child. Now she's an actor and she may or may not be successful. Oh, actually no, she's going to play Rita Marley. Literally, that's not a brainwave,” the Matilda actress explains.

When it came time to celebrate the release of the movie at the world premiere in Jamaica, Lynch was filming elsewhere and sent her mom in her place.

Related: Lashana Lynch Wants to Remake Bridesmaids with Issa Rae, Keke Palmer, Goldie Hawn and More (Exclusive)

<p>Paramount Pictures</p> Lashana Lynch (left) and Kingsley Ben-Adir in 'Bob Marley: One Love'

Paramount Pictures

Lashana Lynch (left) and Kingsley Ben-Adir in 'Bob Marley: One Love'

“They're just proud, but also really emotional. My mom was at the premiere so she was me for the day, and she had to take a day off the day after the premiere. She was like, ‘I'm just so emotional. I've just been crying thinking about being there with Mrs. Marley and the family,’ “ Lynch says.

This level of pride from her parents has bolstered Lynch’s confidence in the industry and made her feel incredibly accomplished.

“I keep saying, I can just leave acting now. I played Rita Marley,” she says. “And I also have that ultimate thing that my parents sent me to drama school and were like, ‘she says she wants to do this. Is it really going to happen?’ And now, yeah, I guess I've done it.”

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<p>John Phillips/Getty Images</p> Lashana Lynch attends the U.K. Premiere of 'Bob Marley: One Love' in London on Jan. 30, 2024

John Phillips/Getty Images

Lashana Lynch attends the U.K. Premiere of 'Bob Marley: One Love' in London on Jan. 30, 2024

Although Lynch says “if I was a palm tree in the back in this film, I'd still be a part of it,” the role didn’t come without pressure — playing a living legend and huge influence on Jamaica could have stopped Lynch from doing the character justice.

“I didn't know what the whole island would think as we went through the shoot, but I did know that there would be some questions and I decided they were none of my business. They just can't be. Or else I'd fail the Marley family, and that's just not going to be on my head,” the Captain Marvel star says.

To withstand the weight of the undertaking, Lynch’s parents encouraged her and the actress pulled on her former experience filming on the island for No Time to Die, which she says celebrated “Jamaica in a different way” and “honored a lot actually.”

Related: See the Bob Marley: One Love Cast Side by Side with the Real People

“My parents would speak life into me,” Lynch explains. ”I remember also the experience I had with No Time to Die shooting the first few weeks in Jamaica, and just feeling how supportive, how lovely, how radiant and just and big and loud the love was. And I held onto that before we started this shoot.”

Leaving this project and this character hasn’t been the easiest for Lynch. The Woman King actress says that she and Ben-Adir, 37, have tried to process the immensity of the roles they took on and find a way to move forward.

“It's challenging to find that kind of coming back to self. But what I do really enjoy actually is being in conversation with my friends, really expressing what my time has been so that I can almost task my friends to be my anchor when I don't feel like I'm as balanced as I should be,” Lynch says.

“I won't speak for Kingsley, but I know that we were both messaging and voice noting each other after the shoot, and we were like, ‘so what do we do now?’ ” she says. “A lot of my post process is quieting my mind to actually think about what I think about something as myself, because you've been thinking for someone else for so long that everything just becomes very laser-focused and zoned in.

At the end of the day, after reaching a level of success that makes her parents “major proud,” Lynch is ready to find the next project that excites her and take the time to enjoy “complete chill, a cup of tea and a good show.”

Bob Marley: One Love is now available to buy or rent digitally.

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