Poetry and Smoking have helped Jonathan Majors Channel Nat’s love in harder times than they’ve fallen
When Jonathan Majors read the first scene in the script for The harder it is, the more they fall, he was immediately attracted to the character Nat Love. The opening moments focus on Love as an 11-year-old, when a man comes to his house and kills his mother and father in front of him. The man then carved a cross into Nat’s forehead, leaving him scarred for the rest of his life.
“I want to take responsibility for this child,” Majors said Vanity Fair. “That kind of transgression, that kind of pain, it tells me that it’s going to take a long emotional way to heal that. I really want to take care of him.”
The harder it is, the more they fall, now streaming on Netflix, following Love 20 years later, as he assembles his loyal gang to take down crime boss Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), who just escaped from prison. As the leader in this revenge West, Majors makes for a charismatic, skilled, and outlawed man, a path that will lead him to a tough choice while trying to get revenge. revenge for his family being killed. For majors, those whose recent work includes Skins 5 Bloods, Lovecraft Country, and Loki, the harder it is, the more you fall showcases his abilities as a leading man, bringing both depth and charisma in creating a memorable character that’s not often seen on the big screen.
The pros don’t audition for the role, but meet the director instead James Samuel to talk about the West with an all-Black cast. After their meeting, he sent Samuel two poems he had written, based on their conversation. “I really wanted to play this role, so I thought, I’d have to share this part of me if there wasn’t an audition. I love auditioning because you know what. You already understand the role in a way — no one is giving it to you, you’re doing it. So I needed some way to let him know what my job is like.”
It worked, and Samuel hired him to play Love. When The harder it is for them to fall is a fictional story, some of the characters are based on real people, including Love, a formerly enslaved cowboy and skilled horseman, nicknamed “Deadwood Dick”. Majors began his research with his autobiography Love, published in 1907 and about 70 pages long. “You realize it’s not just an autobiography, it’s a story about slavery,” Majors said. “From there, I learned the basics: He was from Tennessee, he was a former slave. But then on further research you realize that he taught himself how to read, which we take for granted. But neither of us – I didn’t teach myself to read. I have teachers, family, and books around me. This man taught himself how to read.”
Reading the autobiography also gave Majors insight into Love’s abilities. “He has an eye and can distinguish fake brands, fake brands from real brands,” he said. “So the wisdom of this man – he’s really a thinker.”
When embodying this character, Majors has acquired a bad habit for the role: smoking. “It just does something with your voice,” Majors said. “I am a baritone. His voice is deeper than mine, simply because of the cigarette, the cigar smoked. So it’s a gradual change. From the time we started filming to the end of the movie, his voice was a lot deeper.”
Love’s Relationship with Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), his ex, whom he reunites with as he pursues Buck, is at the heart of his character. “Mary made him smile. It was one of the things I was very passionate about in making it,” he said. “You get Nat Love’s grin, the wry smile he can sometimes throw out — that is found and developed through a relationship with Mary.”
He said he used the strong feeling to spur Love’s action. “He has a deep rage, he has his revenge in him,” he said. “I felt the way I needed to play Nat — or the way I thought he was asking me to play him — was that fear had to come first. It just doesn’t suit the man’s leader that he is or I think he is. “
https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/11/awards-insider-jonathan-majors-channel-nat-love-in-the-harder-they-fall Poetry and Smoking have helped Jonathan Majors Channel Nat’s love in harder times than they’ve fallen