*It’s not just a Black cowboy flick! It’s Black cow-people!
Zazie Beetz boards “The Harder They Fall” as Stagecoach Mary, a fictional formidable, shotgun-toting saloon and brothel owner. Mary is based off a real life formidable, shotgun-toting mail carrier, “she was one of the first Black women carriers in the US. She owned a restaurant and was known for carrying a shotgun and smoking cigars,” shared Beetz.
Jonathan Majors joins the posse as Nat Love aka “Deadwood Dick,” a fictionalized version of a real life once enslaved cowboy, who had a gift for breaking horses and crossed paths with outlaws like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.
We spoke to Majors and Beetz about exigent scenes and “The Harder They Fall” part two.
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Q: What was the most rewarding scene to film and what was the most challenging scene to film?
ZB: The most rewarding scene to film was when I was singing. I love to sing, I sing all the time in my home but I don’t have a great Broadway [voice] or the best control of my voice. I like my voice, but when I have to perform for a job, I kinda tense up, clench up and have a hard time…It’s something I wanna work on ’cause I would love to perform vocally more. The most challenging was the fight scene between Regina (King) and myself. It took a lot of rehearsal, attention and stamina.
JM: Today, the most challenging scene – just because of the elements – was when Nat shows up to town to see Mary for the first time…coming through the town. Everybody, every department was working at 110%, it was freezing outside. Freezing! I don’t think I’ve ever been that cold.
And it’s probably 2 o’clock in the morning, and we’ve been at it all day, and all we gotta do is walk this horse down the road, hop off, keep smoking…it was brutal. That was probably the most difficult scene just technically and I’m glad we pulled it off ’cause it’s really one of those – We got that [scenes]!
The most rewarding scene – at the end of the film – between Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) and Nat Love because the execution of it was difficult…to stay in the space of what was being excavated in the moment. When the core of truth landed, it stayed in the room the whole time…The entire film leads up to this. So, you go, ‘Oh, we got it!’
Q: There’s some unfinished business in the Redwood City…Where would you like to see Stagecoach Mary in the future?
ZB: I would love for her to run her own gang, not just be a part of the Nat Love gang and own a couple more saloons.
“The Harder They Fall” is in select theaters and will drop on Netflix November 3rd.
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