In addition to being a rap star with beloved mixtapes like 1999 and party-starting singles such as “The Revenge” to his name, Joey Badass has been building out his acting resume, adding roles in Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga and Grown-ish to his ever-expanding list of accomplishments. However, he recently missed out on a highly coveted role in the Jay-Z-produced, Jeymes Samuel-directed Western, The Harder They Fall, as he revealed in a new interview with Ebro Darden for Apple Music. Originally, the role of cocky quickdraw gunslinger Jim Beckwourth, played in the film by RJ Cyler, was meant for Joey.
After meeting Samuel at the Roc Nation Brunch in 2020, Joey says Samuel first pitched him the role of Beckwourth. “He said he was working on this crazy film, which was The Harder They Fall,” Joey recalled. “He had this role for me. Like, you see dude with the pistols and sh*t? That’s supposed to be me. Shout to my man RJ [Cyler] though, who actually got the role. The young dude with the two pistols and everything. Jeymes wanted me to play that role.”
Unfortunately, it turned out Joey’s success in securing new acting roles actually prevented him from accepting this one. “[Samuel] called me a few months later, it was like March,” he continued. “He was like, ‘Yo, I need you to come to Arizona,’ I think that’s where they were shooting it, or New Mexico, something like that, so I could do this role. I had just accepted the role on Power for Unique, so now it was like a conflict. We were still trying to make it work, but unfortunately, it didn’t work.”
Eventually, though, Samuel helped Joey land the role in the Oscar-winning short film Two Distant Strangers, so things weren’t all that bad.