The Harder They Fall, Jeymes Samuel’s new school western starring Jonathan Majors as the outlaw Nat Love as he seeks revenge against those responsible for his parents’ murder is finally streaming on Netflix following a limited theatrical engagement. After watching the movie that also features Idris Elba and Regina King, you might be wondering why so many people on The Harder They Fall cast look so familiar. Well, fret not, for we have put together a quick yet comprehensive guide of all the major players and cut-throat bandits seen throughout the movie. Let’s break down all those familiar and not-so-friendly faces…
Jonathan Majors (Nat Love)
Taking on the role of the vengeful slave-turned-cowboy Nat Love in The Harder They Fall is Jonathan Majors, who is currently in one of the most impressive runs in show business in recent memory. A relatively unknown actor only a few years ago, Majors has skyrocketed into stardom ever since he appeared in the 2019 drama The Last Black Man in San Francisco. But Majors’ career really took off in the 2020 when he landed the lead role of Atticus Freeman on the HBO supernatural horror series Lovecraft Country.
In the summer of 2021, Jonathan Majors reached yet another level of his career (one that has potential to turn him into an everyday name) when he took on the role of He Who Remains on the Disney+ streaming series Loki. Majors will reprise that role (though as a different variation of the character) when he portrays Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which is slated for a 2023 release.
Idris Elba (Rufus Buck)
Idris Elba shows up in The Harder They Fall as Rufus Buck, the recently escaped convict who finds himself in Nat Love’s crosshairs after killing the outlaw's parents. The Netflix western caps off an impressive year for the former star of The Wire, a year that also included Concrete Cowboy and The Suicide Squad. But Elba was already a massive star before the start of 2021, with memorable roles on Luther, The Office, and the aforementioned HBO crime drama.
Over the years, Idris Elba has appeared in the Fast and Furious franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and various other movies including dramas like American Gangster and sci-fi thrillers like Prometheus, to name only a few.
Zazie Beetz (Stagecoach Mary)
Zazie Beetz brings to life the historical figure known as Stagecoach Mary, a legend of the Old West, in The Harder They Fall. Ever since breaking out as Vanessa “Van” Keefer on Atlanta and Noelle on Easy in 2016, Beetz built up an impressive career for herself, with appearances in massive box office hits like Deadpool 2 and Joker.
Other notable movies and shows to feature Zazie Beetz include Lucy in the Sky, Seberg, The Twilight Zone, and Invincible. Beetz looks to keep the momentum going in 2022 with the star-studded Brad Pitt action thriller Bullet Train and DreamWorks Animation feature film The Bad Guys.
Regina King (Trudy Smith)
Portraying the “Treacherous” Trudy Smith, Rufus Buck’s most loyal right-hand-woman, is Academy Award winner Regina King. Throughout her career, King has appeared in some of the most consequential and successful films including Boyz in the Hood, Friday, Ray, and If Beale Street Could Talk (for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress). King also received a Golden Globe nomination for her feature film directorial debut One Night in Miami.
Regina King has been just as successful on TV since breaking out on the medium with a starring role on the long-running comedy series 227 in 1985. Since then, King has appeared on The Boondocks, 24, Southland, American Crime, Seven Seconds, and Watchmen, taking home Primetime Emmy Awards for those last three.
Edi Gathegi (Bill Pickett)
Portraying Bill Pickett in The Harder They Fall is Edi Gathegi, who has appeared in a little bit of everything since making his professional acting debut in the 2006 action flick Crank. Since then, Gathegi has appeared in Gone Baby Gone, X-Men: First Class, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I, and The Last Thing He Wanted.
Edi Gathegi’s TV career is probably where most will recognize his face though, as he has had roles on House, Justified, The Blacklist (and The Blacklist: Redemption), StartUp, and Briarpatch. He is also set to have a main role on the Apple TV+ streaming series For All Mankind when the show returns for a third season.
RJ Cyler (Jim Beckwourth)
Taking on the role “Bloody Arm” Jim Beckwourth in The Harder They Fall is RJ Cyler. Ever since breaking out with his portrayal of Earl Jackson in the 2015 coming-of-age dramedy Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Cyler has gone on to play the Blue Ranger, aka Billy Cranston in the 2017 Power Rangers movie, show up in White Boy Rick, and share the screen with Brad Pitt, Ben Kingsley, and several other notable stars in War Machine.
RJ Cyler’s TV work is just as impressive with major roles on I’m Dying Up Here, Black Lightning, Scream, and Swamp Thing, as well as a few episodes of the HBO comedy series Vice Principals.
Lakeith Stanfield (Cherokee Bill)
Stepping in to take on the role of Cherokee Bill in The Harder They Fall is Lakeith Stanfield, who is perhaps one of the most recognizable faces in the large ensemble cast. Over the years, Stanfield has had major roles in everything from Short Term 12 to Selma and The Purge: Anarchy to Straight Outta Compton. In 2017, Stanfield had a small yet key role in Jordan Peele’s horror film Get Out before starring in the truly bizarre Sorry to Bother You the following year. Here more recently, Stanfield has played major parts in Uncut Gems, Knives Out, and Judas and the Black Messiah.
Lakeith Stanfield is also one of the main stars of the FX series Atlanta, which is expected to return for a third season at some point in the first half of 2022.
Delroy Lindo (Bass Reeves)
Veteran of film, TV, and the stage, Delroy Lindo portrays Bass Reeves in The Harder They Fall. Throughout his film career, which goes back to the mid-1970s, Lindo has appeared in a total of four Spike Lee Joints — Malcolm X, Crookylyn, Clockers, and Da 5 Bloods —as well as action thrillers like Congo and Romeo Must Die to dramas like The Cider House Rules and The Devil’s Advocate.
Delroy Lindo has also appeared on shows like The Good Fight, This Is Us, Kidnapped, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Perhaps the most impressive portion of Lindo’s career is his work on various stages around the world. With memorable performances in multiple Shakespeare productions and 20th Century classics like Of Mice and Men and A Raisin in the Sun, Lindo’s talent is undeniable.
Danielle Deadwyler (Cuffee)
Danielle Deadwyler shows up in The Harder They Fall as Cuffee. Prior to landing a role in the new Netflix western, Deadwyler spent the majority of her career taking part in various TV projects that just so happen to be some of the most notable of the past decade or more. This includes Atlanta, Watchmen, The Haves and the Have Nots, FBI: Most Wanted, and several others of note. Deadwyler has also appeared in movies like The Youth, Gifted, and It’s Time during that same stretch of time.
Deon Cole (Wiley Escoe)
Deon Cole portrays the character Wiley Escoe in the Netflix western drama The Harder They Fall. Over the years, Cole has been a fixture of the Barbershop franchise as well as other comedies featuring large ensemble casts like Friendsgiving and Holiday Rush.
However, most will probably recognize Deon Cole from his TV work, which includes playing Charlie Telphy on black-ish and its spinoff series grown-ish. Outside of that critically acclaimed beloved property, Cole has appeared on Angie Tribeca, The League, and Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. Cole is also an accomplished comedian, having made appearances on shows like Def Comedy Jam, and Wild ’n Out. He has also been nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for his writing work on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and Conan.
Damon Wayans Jr. (Monroe Grimes)
Damon Wayans Jr. shows up in The Harder They Fall as Monroe Grimes. Wayans, the son of legendary comedian Damon Wayans, has spent much of his life working on various film and TV projects. Starting with his work on the silver screen, Wayans has appeared in movies like Blankman (as a young Kevin Walker), The Other Guys, Let’s Be Cops, Big Hero 6, and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, with multiple movies scattered between those.
Like his father before him, Damon Wayans Jr. has carved out a nice place for himself on the small screen throughout her career. This includes everything from Happy Endings to New Girl and Happy Together to Bob’s Burgers. At some point in the near future, Wayans will also serve as the host of the Frogger game show.
Well, that about does it for The Harder They Fall cast, but with so many great 2021 Netflix movies coming out before the end of the year, be on the lookout for more lists just like this one.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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