London, England – JAY-Z was in the UK on Wednesday (October 6) to attend the BFI London Film Festival at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. Hov’s appearance at the event was in support of The Harder They Fall, the upcoming Netflix movie he produced, which he believes is an important vehicle for Black representation in Western films.
“Just to see us represented, you know, with a lot of films we didn’t see ourselves in Westerns, as if we didn’t exist,” he told PA Media. “It is almost odd, people think that it’s like a caricature, that they are playing roles, but they’re not playing roles.”
He added, “These names like Stagecoach Mary, all the actors in this, they really existed in this time, so just see us represented and see that we have voices. There were so many towns that people didn’t know about, so to bring interesting stories to the big screen, and also educate, any time you can do that is just a blessing.”
Beyoncé also attended the event alongside her husband and posted photos from the night on Instagram.
While on the red carpet, JAY-Z had a witty response when asked if he could ride a horse — just like he needed the actors to do on screen.
“I can ride a Porsche,” he joked. “It’s got horsepower.”
Starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Delroy Lindo and Lakeith Stanfield, The Harder They Fall serves as the directorial debut for Jeymes Samuel, also known as the The Bullitts. The producer/filmmaker is known for his collaborations with the likes of Jay Electronica and Yasiin Bey, as well as working on the soundtrack album for 2013’s The Great Gatsby alongside JAY-Z.
“I’m fortunate [JAY-Z’s] one of my closest friends,” Samuel told Shadow & Act in June. “Working with Jay is like breathing. It’s literally just like breathing. He’s a really great collaborator. He really believes in collaboration and bringing everything together. What the public doesn’t know and what would surprise them is how versed he is in all these different aspects of art.”
He continued, “So even when I’m writing the script, I’ll be going back and forth with him all the time. I’ll be stuck on a particular scene, and he would have actually been through something like that in real life and advise me on how the outcome would be or what the character’s motivation would be.”
The Harder They Fall is set for release on October 22, with a collaborative song between JAY-Z and Kid Cudi also arriving as part of the film.