Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Where You've Seen The Cast Of The Harder They Fall Before

The new Netflix Western "The Harder They Fall" is set to come out in 2021, and we've already watched the trailer multiple times. (We even tracked down the awesome song that's playing in it.) The movie deals with real-life Black historical figures like cowboy Nat Love (Jonathan Majors), outlaws Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield), tough-as-nails mail carrier Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves (Delroy Lindo), and more. It's an intriguing, irresistible combination of a thrilling revenge plot and some underseen bits of the historical record.

Best of all, it has a pretty remarkable ensemble cast. Some of these actors are already stars, others are up-and-comers, and several are right in the middle of interesting careers that seem poised to explode. A lot of these faces might be familiar to you, so we've picked out some of these actors' most notable past roles to figure out where you might've seen them before.

Jonathan Majors

Jonathan Majors will be immediately familiar to anyone who watched HBO's intense "Lovecraft Country," a wild ride of cosmic horror, sinister magic, and all-too-real (and viscerally portrayed) racism. Majors played Atticus "Tic" Freeman, the lead character who gets swept out of his ordinary life and into a more dangerous and unpredictable world he has to learn to negotiate on the fly. The limited series is a terrific showcase for Majors, and we're absolutely paying attention to whatever he does here on out.

And if you only found him through "Lovecraft Country," you have some great past work to catch up on. He was also in "Da 5 Bloods," "The Last Black Man in San Francisco," and "When We Rise," a 2017 miniseries about the gay rights movement — all of which are worth checking out. Majors may have only really kicked off his career in 2017, but he hit the ground running. He just has that movie star quality to him that means we're unsurprised that he immediately got noticed. Playing Nat Love in "The Harder They Fall" seems like it will boost his profile even further.

Majors also has another role coming up that you might be interested in. He portrays Kang the Conqueror in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania." Time to break out our comic books and start brushing up on Kang's history.

Zazie Beetz

Dedicated superhero movie fans that we are, when we see Zazie Beetz, we immediately think of how amazingly cool she is as Domino in "Deadpool 2." Domino is naturally lucky — a superpower that lets her avoid the hilariously grisly fates that some of her X-Force colleagues immediately succumb to — and she's pretty great with firearms. These are invaluable assets, especially in a "Deadpool" movie, and Beetz embodies her character with a terrific amount of confidence and charm, making her instantly memorable.

And that's not her only superhero movie role, though Todd Phillips' "Joker" is far from a conventional example of the genre. Beetz plays Sophie, a single mother in Arthur Fleck's building, and — spoiler alert — Arthur projects a lot on her, imagining her as offering him connection and comfort. When we finally get a clearer look at their relationship — such as it is — Beetz helps make the scene unforgettable.

Beetz is worth seeking out elsewhere too. You can also find her on FX's "Atlanta," where she plays Van, the sometimes-girlfriend of Donald Glover's Earn; the two of them are also bringing up a daughter together. Like her work in "Joker," this is a lower-key part that — combined with "Deadpool 2" — shows off her impressive range and makes us eager to see her as Stagecoach Mary in "The Harder They Fall."

Delroy Lindo

Over the years, there are a lot of places where you could've run into Delroy Lindo, who plays Bass Reeves in "The Harder They Fall." His career dates back to the '70s. And if you've seen him, you've noticed him. He has a larger-than-life presence that makes him stand out even in small roles.

His turn as West Indian Archie in Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" really made him pop, and it garnered him Best Supporting Actor nominations from the National Society of Film Critics and NAACP's Image Awards. Entertainment Weekly marks it as one of the turning points of his career, with Lindo and Lee then collaborating on multiple films: "Crooklyn," "Clockers," and 2020's "Da 5 Bloods," where he has a starring role.

Lindo's also been a steady presence in action movies and thrillers that take advantage of his physicality and charisma. Over the years, you've probably caught him in films like "Get Shorty," "Heist," or "Gone in 60 Seconds." And he's had several noteworthy TV roles, doing especially great work as a high-powered attorney on "The Good Fight" and a riveting but corrupt alderman in "The Chicago Code." Both of those shows were gone too soon for our liking, but Lindo's performances in them are still well-worth remembering and seeking out.

LaKeith Stanfield

Cherokee Bill is played by LaKeith Stanfield. Stanfield has been around for a while — he was in both "Selma" and the low-key but heartbreaking "Short Term 12" — but he really exploded onto the scene with his supporting role in "Get Out." He only has a small amount of screen time, but he makes an unbelievably big impression. First, he's unsettling, then alarming, and finally, devastating.

After that, we sat up and paid attention whenever he turned up, and we were rewarded with some great performances in some great movies. If you like blistering, surreal satire, it doesn't get any better than "Sorry to Bother You," where Stanfield has the lead role of Cassius Green. He channels some of the same deliberate weirdness for his role on FX's "Atlanta," where he co-stars as the almost sublimely off-kilter Darius. He also collected an Oscar nomination for his supporting work in "Judas and the Black Messiah."

Then there's his droll performance as the straight man in the middle of all of the madness of "Knives Out" and his tense, finely crafted work as middleman Demany in "Uncut Gems." And let's not forget the voice work he did on "BoJack Horseman" late in the show's run. He turned up as Diane's new boyfriend, Guy, a laid-back bison. When someone's filmography is so good that we almost run out of room before we get to "laid-back bison," you know there's a lot of high-quality work there.

Danielle Deadwyler

You might recognize Danielle Deadwyler from her stint on the Oprah Winfrey Network's "The Haves and the Have Nots," a Tyler Perry-helmed primetime soap. She plays Quita Maxwell, and her appearances start in Season 3. She also shows up on one of our favorite shows of the decade, HBO's "Watchmen," as the younger version of June, Angela Abar's grandmother.

Deadwyler has other great on-screen performances, but she's also done some interesting work behind the camera. Sometimes, as in 2019's "The Devil to Pay," the two combine. She helped produce this "Winter's Bone"-like gritty rural noir, and she also has the starring role of Lemon Cassidy, a woman who has to tackle a grim quest and deal with a generations-long feud at the same time. "The Devil to Pay" is well-worth checking out, and Deadwyler is completely convincing in her role. It also gives you a look at how well she handles violence and oaths and revenge, all things that are bound to come into play in her portrayal of Cuffee in "The Harder They Fall."

Edi Gathegi

Bill Pickett's actor, Edi Gathegi, has had a lot of small roles where you might've noticed him. One of the first that popped out to us was his stint on Season 4 of "House," where he played one of the doctors House unconventionally "auditions" for potential fellowships. Here, he was Dr. Jeffrey Cole, whose devout Mormonism made House nickname him "Big Love."

And his filmography is speckled with other movies and shows that may have introduced you to him: "X-Men: First Class," the "My Bloody Valentine" remake, and guest-starring runs on "Justified" and "The Blacklist." In particular, his "Blacklist" work was a turning point in his career. When he was promoted to series regular for "The Blacklist: Redemption," it seemed to swiftly lead to him getting more and more offers to permanently join TV casts. He became a regular on interesting shows like USA's "Briarpatch," Netflix's "StartUp," and Apple TV+'s "For All Mankind."

Hopefully, his appearance in "The Harder They Fall" will give his movie profile a similar boost. We'd be fine with having Gathegi turning up wherever we look.

R.J. Cyler

R.J. Cyler is only in his mid-20s, but he's already racked up an impressive list of credits. He started off with a bang — his second full-length movie was "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," where he snagged one of the three titular roles. (He's Earl.) He went on to give us all an upbeat nostalgia fix in 2017's "Power Rangers," where he played Billy, the Blue Ranger. And critics, like Alex Welch at IGN, singled him out for the invaluable dose of charisma he provides. He was also one of the stars of Showtime's "I'm Dying Up Here," a dramedy about stand-up comedy hopefuls in the '70s.

So far, Cyler has balanced doing more family-friendly fare, "Sierra Burgess is a Loser" and "Black Lightning," with some edgier work that often lets him connect with high-profile stars. Even if the movies themselves don't get a lot of attention — and we can't deny that both "War Machine" and "White Boy Rick" got mixed reviews — Cyler still walked away having worked with actors like Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Matthew McConaughey, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. We call that a win.

And now he has similar good company in "The Harder They Fall," where he's playing real-life mountain man Jim Beckwourth.

Damon Wayans Jr.

Sitcom fans in particular probably recognize Damon Wayans Jr. He guest-starred as Coach for 44 episodes of "New Girl," popping in and out over basically the entire run of the series, and he was one of the leads of ABC's "Happy Endings," an excellent show that ended far too soon. (He was Brad, one-half of a pairing that's without a doubt one of TV's funniest marriages.)

And those are far from Wayans' only roles. He's been all over the place. You could have easily caught one of his numerous guest-starring appearances on shows like "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," or "Kenan" — or you might even recognize his voice from his handful of appearances as Arnold on "Bob's Burgers." He also played the lead in "A Small Town," one of the best — and most charming — episodes of CBS All Access' "Twilight Zone" reboot. That role ably shows off that even though Wayans is a decided comedic talent, his dramatic skills shouldn't be overlooked either. That's a killer combination that should work well for his role in "The Harder They Fall."

Deon Cole

If you ever watched "Black-ish" — or one of its spinoffs, "Grown-ish" — Deon Cole should be a familiar face. And the chances are, you'll light up when you see him. His goofily off-kilter portrayal of Dre's colleague, Charlie Telphy, is one of the franchise's biggest charms. As Variety writer Maureen Ryan puts it, "Deon Cole plays Charlie with such a mixture of spontaneity, innocence, and deft physical humor. ... Cole reminds me of John Belushi, another performer who brought essential sweetness to his unpredictable characters, and who could make you laugh just by looking a certain way at another person on screen." It's no surprise that Cole was promoted to series regular and then became a major part of "Grown-ish" as well.

And Cole has proved his comedic chops elsewhere too. He was also a regular on the comedic cop show "Angie Tribeca," starring Rashida Jones, and he made multiple appearances on "Conan," showing up as recurring character January Jones and others. Basically, whenever Cole turns up, it's safe to say you're in for a good time.

Regina King

When you watch the trailer for "The Harder They Fall," we bet you'll recognize the actress who plays Trudy Smith. Regina King has had an incredible career, and lately, she's gotten even bigger and better roles. Most recently, she caught our attention with her starring — and Emmy-winning — work as Angela Abar on HBO's "Watchmen," where she turns in an especially powerful and dynamic performance. You also might've seen her doing press for her first really big directorial project, the group biopic "One Night in Miami."

But there are plenty of other places where you might've caught her. Her lineup of awards and nominations is both impressive and well-deserved. (In particular, she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in "If Beale Street Could Talk.") She was a lead on the textured and realistic police procedural "Southland," and she became a major part of HBO's "The Leftovers" — one of the top shows of the last decade — starting in its second season. She was also in all three seasons of the anthology show "American Crime," which tackled one complex, gritty story per season. And if you're an animation fan, you definitely want to check out "The Boondocks," where she voices both Riley and Huey Freeman.

Whew. We can't recite King's credentials without needing to pause to catch our breath — but she should ignore us and just keep racking them up and adding to our watch-list.

Idris Elba

"The Harder They Fall" revolves partly around breaking outlaw Rufus Buck out of custody, and the trailer gets great mileage out of the moment when Buck emerges: Hey, that's Idris Elba! Awesome!

Elba really broke out with his role as Stringer Bell, the smart, ambitious second-in-command to drug lord Avon Barksdale on HBO's sleeper hit "The Wire." The show may not have gotten the best viewing numbers when it was actually on, but it's picked up a superb critical reputation over the years. And as it built up steam, so did Elba's reputation as one of its breakout actors. By the time he guest-starred as new boss Charles Miner on "The Office," his good looks — and ability to intimidate — were well-known enough that the show could poke fun at them. His stardom grew even more with his lead role on the dark, gripping BBC drama "Luther."

Elba entered the blockbuster phase of his career in 2011, when he became part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Heimdall, a major supporting character in the "Thor" movies. After that, Elba got a string of major parts and blockbuster projects: "Pacific Rim," "Prometheus," "Beasts of No Nation," "Star Trek Beyond," and "The Dark Tower," to name a few. He even lends his instantly recognizable voice to several big animated movies like "Zootopia" and "Finding Dory." That's a good list, and "The Harder They Fall" seems to fit right in.