How the Writer-Director-Producer Jeymes Samuel Assembled an All-Black Western The Harder They Fall

How the Writer-Director-Producer Jeymes Samuel Assembled an All-Black Western The Harder They Fall

Growing up in the city of London, Jeymes Samuel found the love of his life when he was first introduced to the Westerns. The charisma, the atmosphere, and the vibe that the stories from the West held were something Samuel adored a lot. As a young kid, he enjoyed all those classic Western stories; that include movies like The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and Shane. It all added a lot to the creation of Netflix‘s The Harder They Fall by Jeymes Samuel.

The love Jeymes has for the West is truly visible when he talks about it; “Westerns were always my favorite genre,” Samuel says. “The allure of the Old West for me was the cowboys. They were just always so cool. Also with Westerns, I could never see the filmmaking; no matter how hammy the acting was or how run of the mill the story was. Shane was just Shane. That’s real stuff. That’s what drew me so much to the Westerns, the transportation to this real environment.

The journey from a dream to a reality

Jeymes learned about all the heroes from the west; he went on to memorize their stories and even desired to create one of his own. Samuel is a pretty well-known name in the music industry as a songwriter and a music producer; known by the name of The Bullitts, man is loved by many. Along with living his life as a music artist, Jeymes has now taken his talents to a new field of work; making his directorial debut with The Harder They Fall, Jeymes Samuel has taken the world by storm.

The movie features an all-Black cast with some of the most talented actors and actresses; including Jonathan Major, Zazie Beetz, Edi Gathegi, Delroy Lindo, and Idris Elba. This movie explores the untouched history of Blacks in the West. But how exactly did Jeymes put together this ensemble?

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An all-Black Western: The Harder They Fall by Jeymes Samuel

The human mind has the capacity to think beyond everything and anything; it has this habit of asking questions. Jeymes’ mind asked questions as well; particularly about why the Black people and women were not shown in his beloved Western movies? That’s when he decided to take matters into his own hands. “As much as I love Westerns, there were always these glaring inconsistencies with the portrayal of people of color and the portrayal of women, “, Samuel said when asked about his idea of the movie.

Over the years, I started uncovering all these rich characters with these rich histories that I was never taught about,” Samuel says when talking about his movies. “I know all the words to Doris Day’s ‘Just Blew in from the Windy City,’ but I never learned about Stagecoach Mary, or Rufus Buck, Cherokee Bill, or Bass Reeves, who was the inspiration for the Lone Ranger. I was thinking to myself, How come I’ve never seen them onscreen? So, I made a fictional story, brought all these real characters into it, and assembled them like the Avengers to tell the story of The Harder They Fall.”

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