The Harder They Fall, Netflix’s big-budget Black western, premiered in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, bringing out an elite group of stars to celebrate the groundbreaking film.

Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Seal, Tiffany Haddish, Swizz Beatz and Taraji P. Henson were among the guests at the event, adding to an already starry cast of Jonathan Majors and Regina King, director Jeymes Samuel and producers Jay-Z and James Lassiter.

“I think it will expand the genre in a beautiful way because it continues the narrative, it fills in the narrative,” Majors told The Hollywood Reporter of the film, which follows two gangs of Black outlaws shooting it out in the Old West. “It’s an amendment to this rule of what a western is. It makes it more full and more ripe and more human.”

Majors, who said he felt “so pulled to be responsible for telling the story” after reading the script and “wanted to look after” his character Nat Love, trained alongside his costars by going to “cowboy camp,” where the cast learned to ride horses and shoot guns.

“It was great and really taught us the culture of what it was to be a cowboy and a cowgirl, an outlaw,” Majors said. “The patience that it takes, the amount of aggression it takes, the balance and all of that, it was awesome.”

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Jeymes Samuel and Jonathan Majors
Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Costar Deon Cole remembered going to 7-11 after the training “to go get a Slurpee and there’d be gun residue on my hands.”

Cole added that after “showing us in a period piece, hopefully it’s a movie that sparks the minds of others to write us in different lights. We can be archeologists, we can be astronauts, we can be all kinds of different things,” of the project’s Black representation. “Hopefully this helps spark the minds of a lot of people who are in the power to make changes.”

After the screening, held at the Shrine in downtown L.A., an afterparty for the ages went late into the night. Beyoncé kept a low profile at a private booth, chatting with Kelly Rowland and Keys while writer-director Samuels emceed a 90-minute jam session on the party stage.

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Jeymes Samuel and Seal
Rachel Murray/Getty Images

He brought up his brother Seal, who sang and danced with him, and Haddish did an all-out performance of “Proud Mary” as Jay-Z laughed and cheered from the side. Eventually Samuels convinced Jay-Z to join them on stage, where he performed tracks from some of his early albums as well as a song from the film. Seal also played “Kiss from a Rose” after some encouragement from Jay-Z, and Swizz Beats joined the group on stage for a couple of numbers. Jesse Williams, Lil Rel Howery and Logan Browning were also in attendance. Netflix boss Ted Sarandos did not make an appearance.

The Harder They Fall starts streaming on Netflix Nov. 3.

Scott Feinberg contributed to this report.




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