The Harder They Fall was recently released in limited theatres but will premiere on Netflix Nov. 3. While this is the first full-length feature film for director Jeymes Samuel, who also goes by the name The Bullitts as he’s also a singer-songwriter, the budding filmmaker is excited for audiences to tune into his debut. In promotion of the film out next week, PopCulture.com caught up with Samuel, who revealed the biggest obstacles while directing The Harder They Fall.
“The biggest challenge was, I had to wear a mask, I had to wear goggles, and I had to keep six feet away from the actors at all times,” Samuel told PopCulture. “This is crazy. I’m an excitable individual. I have mad energy. That’s how I got the movie green-lit in the first place. I’m like, ‘It’s what you have to do.’ But all of a sudden, it’s almost like you have to move like an astronaut in astronaut’s uniform. That was the biggest challenge for me, just getting used to those parameters set by this worldwide killer disease, I had to take note of that.”
The Harder They Fall stars Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, Delroy Lindo, Edi Gathegi and Deon Cole. Majors plays a cowboy named Nat Love who looks to get revenge on Rufu Buck (Elba) as he killed his parents when he was young. Nat rounds up his gang to take on Black and his crew in an epic battle. The Harder They Fall was a film Samuel want to direct since he directed the 2012 western short film They Die by Dawn.
“The whole point of that was just to let people know that this media existed in that time,” Samuel said. “I self-funded, I didn’t release it commercially. I just wanted to let people know that there was people of color that existed in the Old West. And I would toy with it factually, but my hope was to one day make features where I could explore those themes and those tropes. Broaden the scope that we were given, just growing up, about the Old West and the portrayals of people of color during this time.”
Overall, Samuel enjoyed directing his first feature film despite getting it done during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I mean, it was amazing, being my debut movie,” Samuel stated. “It was crazy, but it was awesome. When I look at the film, I’m like, ‘Wow, how did we do that in a pandemic?’ But for me, it being my first feature, I think, prepped me and enabled me to take on all the scares because I’ve never done it before.”