Loni Love & Boyfriend James Reflect On First Date At A Movie Premiere 5 Years Ago

On today’s special edition of “Tamron Hall,” Tamron continued the “Week of Love” with actor and comedian Loni Love and her boyfriend, actor James Welsh, who opened up about their five-year relationship, their first date and finding love later in life. The pair left Tamron and the Tam Fam in stitches recounting their first kiss and more. Later, Tamron was joined by actress Lashana Lynch who discussed  portraying Bob Marley’s wife in the highly anticipated film “Bob Marley: One Love.” Lynch shared her experience meeting Rita Marley prior to filming the movie and also explained why she decided to shave her head after completing the film. See more inside…

Loni Love and partner James Welsh on their first date:

James Welsh: “Well, [on the dating app] I was looking for someone to spend the rest of – you know I’m on the back nine Tamron so you know I was looking for that special someone.”

Loni Love: “I was looking for somebody to make love to…Because we met online and I tell women, when you meet online you have to be very, very protective. So we talked for like over a month and then I said, ‘Okay, well, he doesn’t sound like a stalker or anybody like that. So let’s meet publicly.’ But I wanted to do it someplace that if I didn’t like him, I could like, you know, leave and it wouldn’t be a big deal. And so we went to the ‘Peppermint’ premiere.” Tamron steps in to say, “Which is like an action dark – it wasn’t romantic like the Obamas went to see ‘Do The Right Thing,’ you know, on their first date, famously. You took him to like an intense drama.” Love responds, “Look, look T – when you trying to, you know, get it on – take him someplace that’s gonna rev it up. Okay?” Tamron continues, “Since it’s love week, I’m gonna go there. The first kiss – who made the move first?” Loni responds, “I did of course.” Welsh responds, “I’m a little shy, sometimes.”

Love and Welsh on what brought them together and why their relationship works:

Welsh: “The funny thing is, I wasn’t familiar with Loni’s work. So we got to know each other on a, you know, just like two people getting to know each other. And I was thinking, I was looking for what we had in common and I liked her. And we just got along so well.”

Love: “We’re very compatible. And I tell [people] that, when you’re looking for love and you’re older, look for compatibility. Okay? That’s so important. Make sure that you guys are on the same level.”

Lashana Lynch on meeting Rita Marley: 

Tamron asks “When you first walked into that house to meet her, what was that like? Intimidating?” Lashana responds, “No! Oh peace, peace. Complete peace and balance and equilibrium of oneself. Complete. I walked in and her daughter Sharon was there and I was there for all of two seconds and Sharon said, ‘Mom is so glad that you’re here because she says you have the energy.’ And as a woman with Jamaican parents, I know what ‘the energy’ means. I know what it means. I’m coming in to not ask you questions and I had a bunch of them. I left my things in a bag. My notebook didn’t come out. I just sat in front of her, crossed my legs and just soaked in her spirit for the entire time. That’s what you see.”

Lynch on portraying Rita Marley: 

“That can’t come without you personally, as an artist, honoring that moment for the whole culture. And I think that some people, you know, see it as just acting and you’ve taken on a role and it’s cool, but this is a responsibility. It is a full-on responsibility for you to represent your legacy and other people’s legacy accurately.”

Lynch on why she shaved her head after filming “Bob Marley: One Love”:

“I mean, I cut my hair for a role maybe five years ago and you know, you have short hair, you know that there’s something that – there’s like a weight that comes on you when you do that. And there was something that came onto me, onto my spirit, into my spirit when playing this woman. I wanted to ensure that all of the necessary things were staying with me and all of the things that needed to be gifted to her through this movie, were given to her. And I just left it on the land. It was in Jamaica when we did that. So I took that as a kind of ritual that I will do, probably, for the rest of my career now to just let it go, just to let it go.”

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