The Harder They Fall feature several scenes of knock-down, drag-out fights and shootouts. But the fighting between Deon Cole and Idris Elba was actually real.
While promoting the Netflix film on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Cole revealed that they were actually punching each other while in character instead of pretending to fight.
“We practiced for two weeks straight on this scene of how to fight in the fight. We know it so much so, we’re like ‘We ain’t coming [to practice],'” he said jokingly. “First day on the set we get there, they say action, and BAM, he hits me in the head…We continue the fight, and he was closer than what I thought, and I end up punching him. The director [Jeymes Samuel] was like ‘No more ‘accidents””
Cole said that despite the actual hits, Elba was a nice person to work with. But the real punches are included in the final cut of the movie.
“He’s a sweetheart, but it was that intense…Once you see the movie, when you see my face…and you see his hit, those are actual hits and they used those [in the film],” he said. You can watch the full video below.
The Harder They Fall also stars Jonathan Majors, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, Edi Gathegi, Danielle Deadwyler, Delroy Lindo RJ Cyler, and LaKeith Stanfield. The film is a mish-mash of historical Black figures of the American West configurated into a fictional story about Nat Love (Majors) seeking revenge for his parents, who were killed by Rufus Buck (Idris Elba). The film is currently streaming on Netflix.