Concrete Cowboy, the Netflix movie that everyone is talking about, was filmed in the same neighborhood of Fletcher Street in Philadelphia, where the story starring Idris Elba, Caleb McLaughlin and Jharrel Jerome takes place. To make the shooting locations look authentic, the director chose to shoot in the northern part of the city, where real urban cowboys live, instead of creating a movie set. Many of the scenes were filmed at the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club to show the authentic cowboy look. The most important filming location was the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood, next to East Fairmount Park. The Fletcher Street club stables for horses are also located nearby, opposite 26th Street.
Locals in the neighborhood were also featured in the film, telling stories of the black culture of urban driving originally from Philadelphia. The cast of Concrete Cowboy includes some popular movie stars who flew to Philadelphia for filming. Idris Elba plays Harp, Caleb McLaughlin plays Cole, Byron Bowers plays Rome, Jharrel Jerome plays Smush, Clifford “Method Man Smith plays Leroy, Ivannah-Mercedes plays Esha, Lorraine Toussaint plays Nessie, Devenie Young plays Trina and many more. To make the shooting locations look authentic, the creators chose the location in the northern part of the city to show the locality where real urban cowboys actually lived rather than creating a set for it. According to reports from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Concrete Cowboy filming locations are mainly included in and around the city of Philadelphia. The empty terrain across the street from the stables has served as a training and riding ground for horses and the setting for many critical scenes in Concrete Cowboy. Although Concrete Cowboy events are fiction, the real-life Fletcher Street riding community has also faced gentrification and mandatory seizures from the city. The cowboys in this urban western are not just characters from a movie; they are based on a real community that has a century of history in Philadelphia.
Some of these real-life cyclists of Fletcher Street also appear in the film. Royal racers in the cast include Ivannah Mercedes, who plays McLaughlin's love interest Esha, and Jamil Mil Prattis, who plays stable mentor Paris. At the end of Concrete Cowboy, Mercedes, Prattis and other real cyclists in the cast talk about their experiences in the stables. To capture their spirit accurately, director Ricky Staub spent two years visiting the stables and meeting cyclists in the Fletcher Street community before writing his script. The creators of Concrete Cowboy have helped create a non-profit organization to raise funds for an equestrian center. If you want to share your love for Concrete Cowboy or movie stars like Idris Elba, Caleb McLaughlin and Jharrel Jerome, you can support this cause.