The Yellowstone prequel 1923 premieres this Sunday. And Helen Mirren, one of the show’s stars, said she never even read the script before agreeing to be part of the cast.
At age 77 and with more than 100 roles on her acting resume, Mirren knows when to trust her instincts, which blinked green when she heard about the Taylor Sheridan project.
“I wasn’t hugely familiar with the whole thing,” the 1923 star told Variety in a story that published Friday. “What interested me … I did see 1883, and that era of American history has always really fascinated me. The fact that Harrison (Ford) was going to be involved was very important for me.
“Both of us committed to it without really reading any scripts. We didn’t really know what we were signing up for — the specifics of what we were signing up for. We had trust in Taylor’s extraordinary abilities as a writer and we took a leap of faith.”
On 1923 Mirren Plays Cara, the Wife Who Balances Jacob
Mirren plays Cara Dutton, an Irish immigrant who has spent a half century of life with husband Jacob Dutton, played by Harrison Ford. We’ll know soon enough how Jacob and Cara play into the Dutton mythology. This time a year ago, 1883 premiered, giving us James (Tim McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill), who brought the family from Tennessee to Montana by way of Texas. Jacob is James’ brother.
In other interviews promoting 1923, Mirren talks of how Cara balances Jacob. She says she pulls him back when Jacob heads towards “self-destructive territory.” Cara and Jacob have no biological children of their own. But they apparently consider James and Margaret’s sons John and Spencer as their own. The present day Duttons directly descend from James and Margaret, but might not be around if not for Cara and Jacob.
And we know that 1923 will focus a lot on the relationship between Cara and Jacob, the aging couple who are so comfortable with each other. She suggests that these two Duttons are the answer to what happens when a couple lives happily ever after.
“They’ve been together for 50 years,” Mirren told Variety. “When you do spend 50 years (together), especially in the circumstances that Cara and Jacob are living their lives, it becomes, at its best, an absolute equal partnership.
“I love the fact that it’s what happens after, ‘and they lived happily ever after,’ ’ Mirren said. “What happens next? I love that Taylor has given the room and the space in the story to look at a mature relationship and see how that relationship can succeed or flounder and the challenges involved in keeping a relationship together.”