*Hollywood showed up to the “blue carpet” for the premiere of Netflix’s “The Harder They Fall!”
The Shrine Auditorium was the scene for the western’s Los Angeles screening. Guests included; Jay Z – who also serves as an executive producer on the project – Swizz Beats and Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Taraji P. Henson, Evan Ross, Logan Browning, Teyana Taylor, Kehlani, Karrueche Tran, Bre-Z, Seal, Damson Idris, Jesse Williams, Nas, Jay Electronica, Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John, Tina Knowles-Lawson and Richard Lawson.
Key talent from the film was also in the building, including; Regina King, Jonathan Majors, Deon Cole, and the writer, director, producer, and composer Jeymes Samuel.
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The film adds real-life characters from the 1800s for this fictional tale. “When outlaw Nat Love (Majors) discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) is being released from prison, he rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. Those riding with him in this new school Western include his former love Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz,) his right and left-hand men, hot-tempered Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi), and fast drawing Jim Beckwourth (RJ Cyler). Rufus Buck has his fearsome crew, including “Treacherous” Trudy Smith (King) and Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield,) and they are not a group that knows how to lose.”
Majors has appeared in some of the biggest hits over the last year, including “Lovecraft Country,” “Da Five Bloods,” and a surprise appearance in “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.” When asked how does he ensure the roles he creates are iconic, he offered this:
“I just listen. With Nat, it’s about the difficulty of the role and how far the character has to go to get what he needs. That’s a heroic journey, even if they’re a bad guy. To achieve those things, you’ve got to do very peculiar, particular things. And it is in that peculiarity that you find that moment.”
Howery says that we haven’t seen a Black western on this level before. Tina Knowles-Lawson added that seeing Black cowboys depicted is going to mean the world to the audience
“Black cowboys have been depicted in Hollywood as cowhands. So, to see these strong, Black assertive cowboys take their power back is everything. I know this is a revenge movie, but it is about the history of Black cowboys, and most of the characters did exist. So, I think it’s going to make kids feel powerful.”
Swizz shared how important it is to see more Black people involved in all aspects of Hollywood.
“It’s good to see some color on these carpets, especially in Hollywood, where we contribute so much but get overlooked in a lot of ways. I think that we just have to keep fighting. Brothers like Jay and many other greats. I’m contributing a small piece; we just have to stay focused and continue doing the work to get the visibility and respect that we deserve.”
The night ended with an after-party where Jay-Z jumped on the mic for a surprise performance of a few of his hits. Beyoncé was in the building too, but she opted to skip the carpet.
“The Harder They Fall” drops on Netflix October 22.