HomeEntertainmentTVYellowstone‘1923’s James Badge Dale & Marley Shelton Discuss Their Dutton Marriage

‘1923’s James Badge Dale & Marley Shelton Discuss Their Dutton Marriage

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

On its face, Yellowstone is about the Dutton family and their quest to maintain and protect Yellowstone Ranch. Watch one episode, however, and you quickly learn that the story goes much deeper than that. Like any good TV drama, Yellowstone is full of complicated relationships, dark secrets, and passionate romances.

And when Taylor Sheridan created the first prequel, 1883, he ensured that it followed suit. It should come as no surprise, then, that in the upcoming series 1923, we can expect much of the same.

The central romance of Yellowstone is the love affair between the fiery Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) and ranch hand Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser). In 1883, that title belongs to James and Margaret Dutton (Tim McGraw and Faith Hill), pioneers with a powerful connection.

This time around, one of our impassioned love stories will be that between cowboy John Dutton Sr (James Badge Dale) and his wife, Emma (Marley Shelton). We have just over a week until we can see their romance in action – 1923 premieres on December 18. In the meantime, Dale and Shelton gave us a sneak peek at what to expect in the coming episodes.

“I’m trying to figure out how to keep things together in my real life,” Dale explained to TV Insider with a laugh. “I think, you know, there’s something very dynamic about Marley as an actor. And she just has this… She’s incredibly present, and she can ping-pong wherever we all go.”

“We kind of stay locked into each other,” he continued. “And I think in this time period, when people find these beautiful relationships that kind of work… We were playing with: how did this relationship survive over twenty years?”

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Marley Shelton, who plays James Badge Dale’s wife and love interest, couldn’t agree more with his assessment. “There’s a sense of longing and the stakes are so high,” Shelton agreed. “His character is always going on these cattle drives with the rest of the Dutton men. That’s their livelihood and their survival.”

“So it has to happen, they are people of the ranch,” she continued. “But at the same time, that leaves this kind of gaping loneliness and danger that kind of stokes the fire, I think, for their love and kindles the flame. Because every time he goes out, who knows if he’ll return, even. And there’s no way to even know – there’s no cell phones, there’s no communicating.”

Like many of her fellow 1923 and 1883 stars, Marley Shelton is fascinated by American history and the chance to bring it to life through the Yellowstone prequels. “I think it’s amazing to think about,” she said. “This was not that long ago that people were carving out these incredibly rugged, adventurous, demanding lives in order to settle this region.”