The upcoming Netflix film, The Harder They Fall, centers on a longstanding quest for vengeance among Nat Love and his group of outlaws and their rivals, the Rufus Buck gang. Within each camp, there’s no shortage of characters, from a trash-talking quickdraw by the name of Jim Beckworth to Gertrude “Treacherous” Trudy Smith, who’s quick to tell anyone in her group’s path: “We ain’t no nincompoop.”
Smith, played by Regina King, also doesn’t take kind to suggestions Buck is her boss, though her fierce loyalty to his mission shines through in every scene of the reimagined western. Still, Smith is self-determined, just like the actress who portrays her on screen, which is why when asked which role she’d play if she weren’t Smith, King said instantly, “I’d be Rufus.”
That response brought a hearty laugh out of Idris Elba, who plays the ruthless lead character, before he shared he’d trade places with RJ Cyler’s Jim Beckworth, if he had to. “He was amazing,” Elba declared excitingly in reference to the fearless member of Nat Love’s gang. “That was so fun, just seeing him with the tricks and the blam blam. I love that character.”
King is a fan of Beckworth as well—particularly the acting chops of Cyler that brought the character, which brings a great deal of comedic relief to the film, to life. “What’s exciting about that—and this is just my actor appreciation moment—RJ is an example of why stories cannot be told without actors,” King stated. “Jeymes laid it out and it’s on the page, but Jim Beckworth—RJ’s Jim Beckworth—is not on the page. It can only come to life with RJ.”
Check out our full interview with Regina King and Idris Elba in the video above as they talk about being cast in the film and their intense fight scenes. The Harder They Fall will be available for streaming on Netflix Nov. 3.