'The Harder They Fall' star Jonathan Majors on how the twist ending represents 'the circle of life'


The actor and writer-director Jeymes Samuel also both tease sequel possibilities for the Netflix Western.

Warning: This article contains spoilers about the film The Harder They Fall, now streaming on Netflix.

The Harder They Fall star Jonathan Majors tells EW that his character Nat Love's actions in the explosive conclusion of the Netflix film all come down to the question of "What is fair?"

In the beginning of the film, viewers see steely outlaw Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) murder Love's mother and father right in front of him, provoking the cowboy to develop a unique sense of morality that will color how he seeks vengeance throughout the rest of the movie. Majors describes Love's initial motivation to get back at Buck as "You took my parents, I'm going to take your gang, and I'm going to take you in order to make it fair."

However, in a major twist, the outlaw turns the table on the protagonist, revealing that the pair share a father, and his death was the climax of Buck's own mission to avenge his mother's murder. Elba's character challenges the film's proposed hero to now do what he could not, and kill his own brother as a coda to Buck's own revenge plot.

"When the big reveal comes, that's why I remember I couldn't even look at him, and then the rage came out," says Majors of shooting the scene where Love chooses to follow through, gunning down his newly revealed half-sibling. "It was almost I've got to make this fair for you. Once you set that pattern, once you have that thing in you, that pilot in you, on the spine of that character, there is no compromise from it."

"In that scene, the reason it's so what it is, is because there's so much internal conflict for both of them. The only thing is Nat didn't see that coming," adds the actor. "So there's this shock, and then there's [the thought of] my mother, my father. He's actually trying to make it right in himself, in that moment, to do it."

Majors sees the following scene, where his heroine Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz) says, "Is the devil dead?" and Love says, "I don't know," as an example of "the circle of life," saying "It doesn't ever really close, it doesn't ever really end."

The film's final frame aligns with this notion, showing Buck's partner in crime Trudy Smith (Regina King) has survived her final showdown with Mary, and is likely ready to start a new cycle of revenge against the remainder of the Nat Love Gang.

While it's still to be determined if the moment means a The Harder They Fall sequel is already in the works, Majors says "I will play Nat Love as long as Jeymes Samuel wants me to play him." He notes a prequel may be the preferable route, saying "The most interesting thing about Nat Love is what happened to him from the time he was 10 to the time we meet him at 33 in the picture. What is that moment? How was that growing up?"

For his part, writer-director Samuel sees room for both options, telling EW "The world of The Harder We Fall is expansive, so I'm not stopping there... [The film was] never, for me, a singular story. It has a before and an after. So I'll leave that there without spoilers, but let's just say we're going in."

The Harder They Fall is now streaming on Netflix.

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