‘The Harder They Fall’: Meet the Real-Life Inspirations Behind Netflix’s New Western

by Jonathan Howard

Netflix has a new Western and it is packed with stars and historical figures. The Harder They Fall takes a twist on the genre while remaining true to its roots.

One of the coolest parts of this film is that the characters are based on real-life historical figures. While the story is fictional, the use of these names and figures gives a nod back to the real-life cowboys, outlaws, and other important folks from the Old West.

To get things started, Jonathan Majors portrays Nat Love. Love is one of the most famous Black cowboys ever. Born into slavery, he spent his time after the Civil War learning to handle cattle and become a cowboy. In this movie, he faces off against Rufus Buck, portrayed by Idris Elba, and his gang of ne’er-do-wells. Buck was a real-life outlaw and leader of a teenage gang that terrorized modern Oklahoma.

These next two characters in The Harder They Fall are my personal favorites. We have Zazie Beetz playing Stagecoach Mary. Mary was a slave at birth that later became one of the most badass women, (human in general, really) to ever live. She knew her way around a gun and was kicked out of a convent for it. However, her story would go on. Mary guarded stagecoaches filled with mail and other valuables. She would live to the age of 82.

To finish things up, we have Delroy Lindo playing Bass Reeves, the first Black, Deputy U.S. Marshal of the West. Another figure born into slavery, Reeves eventually became a revered lawman. He arrested over 3,000 criminals, killed 14 outlaws, and had one sweet mustache. Lindo is perfect for the role. The Harder They Fall is not short on stars.

‘The Harder They Fall’ Stars Open Up About Film

Already, The Harder They Fall has made it into the top-10 on Netflix. That is impressive for the new film. Before the show premiered on the platform, Jonathan Majors spoke about his fellow star Idris Elba and the dynamics on set. It gives a good glimpse at what went into the production of the movie.

“When I read [the script], I felt this was an impossible character, Nat Love was, because of what was being asked of him, all the people he got to interact with, it just seemed unreal to me,” Majors said. Then, when he saw who else was in the cast, he had other thoughts.

“I thought, ‘Well, that’s just a beautiful thought. I’d like to be part of that.”

So, The Harder They Fall is out and available now. If you have a Netflix subscription you can catch it in all its glory. Can never have enough Westerns if you ask me.