The Knockturnal sat down with the star-studded cast of the new Netflix film ‘Concrete Cowboy’.Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin play estranged father and son in this drama that takes place in Philadelphia and tells the story of a very real community of Black cowboys in the area.
Caleb said he had no idea of the history of the Fletcher Street Stables – which the story is based on.
“When I got the script – I mean the story didn’t know about Black cowboys in Philly. I got a taste of [director] Ricky [Staub’s] work in ‘The Cage’ and I was so blown away I knew I had to jump on the project.”
Idris says he signed on to the project as a producer but go roped in (no pun intended) to take on the role of Harp.
“I really wanted to tell a story that most people could relate to but through a different lens,” Idris said. “This is a story of community, a story of fatherhood, family and it’s a story of commitment and challenge. Cole’s character is so isolated when you meet him. We started making this film in 2017 – but right now I think it will resonate with people who are feeling a little disoriented.
“I’m an animal lover. These horses are majestic. I want people to see and go ‘wow.’ You don’t just jump on the horses and ride them around. You have to have a connection with them.”
The pair recalled a fun moment on set. “Caleb tried to challenge me to a dance contest – I had to show him what’s going on real quick,” Idris said.
“He did an amazing job. He won!” Caleb said.
Idris said that Caleb “took him out” with one move.
“It was a lot of fun working with Idris. It was a dream come true. I’ve been a fan of his before I wanted to be an actor so being able to see him first hand and work was awesome.
“We create da GoFundMe because the Fletcher Street Stables is being wiped out.”
We also spoke to actors Jharrel Jerome, Lorraine Toussaint and Cliff ‘Method Man’ Smith.
Cliff ‘Method Man’ Smith said, “I didn’t know what I was s actually getting into but when you say names like Lorraine Toussaint, Idris Elba, Caleb and Jharrel I’m on board and it’s like let’s go!
“But I got so much more out of it – not just working with my favorite actors and actresses in the world. But just to be on the set and learn so much as we went along and to see how these people work was just life-changing,’ he added.
Jharrell spoke of his character Smush. “I had a realization that just because you are a drug dealer doesn’t mean you’re just trying to make money and ball on women and more drugs and cars all of that. There is a dream behind some of these men and women who choose to do what they do under the circumstances that they’re forced to be under. So just playing Smush – it was fun toeing that line and playing between good and evil and trying to figure out what’s good and what’s evil.”
Lorraine Toussaint, who plays Nessie, said if there’s one thing she wants viewers to get from this film it’s “that we are a diverse people, that we are a complex people, that our stories are so unpredictable, and there are so many of our stories to be told that even we don’t realize and we don’t even know those stories. I’m very grateful to Netflix and these platforms that so many of our stories can be told.”
‘Concrete Cowboy’ is out Friday, April 2 on Netflix.