HomeEntertainmentTVYellowstone‘1923’ Star Helen Mirren Weighs in on Why Taylor Sheridan’s ‘Yellowstone’ Universe Has Struck a Chord

‘1923’ Star Helen Mirren Weighs in on Why Taylor Sheridan’s ‘Yellowstone’ Universe Has Struck a Chord

by Taylor Cunningham
Taylor Sheridan Helen Mirren
(Photo by Mindy Small/Getty Images)

1923 star Helen Mirren has a very interesting and possibly true take on why Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone universe has exploded in popularity.

The Oscar-winning actress recently gave a tell-all interview with Rolling Stone on her current Hollywood career, which includes her ongoing role as Cara Dutton in the second Yellowstone prequel.

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The Dutton family drama has been an absolute hit since Sheridan debuted it in 2018. Viewership continues to climb just as the demand for spinoffs does. But aside from the great acting, why do so many people tune in religiously?

When the publication asked Helen Mirren that question, she proved that she had already put a lot of thought into it. And while she claimed her opinion sounded “incredibly pretentious,” it makes sense.

The actress noted that tales of the Western Frontier are a huge part of American history. And Sheridan’s story is kind of our country’s War and Peace story.

“You know, it’s that huge arc of history told through a family’s perspective, in a raw and rather uncomfortable way,” she began. ” These people are incredibly flawed, they make very bad decisions. They’re cruel, they’re greedy, arrogant, and self-interested — and they’re the heroes!”

Helen Mirren Appreciates Taylor Sheridan’s Approach to Screenwriting

Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace tells Russia’s story from the pre-reform era into the French invasion through the eyes of several fictional families. The country was trying to find a new sense of order and life at a time of despair and unrest. Power struggles and ethical boundaries ensued for the character in the book.

During the American western expansion, people were trying to find any sense of order and law as new societies popped up. And of course, the Duttons have to live by their own rules since very few were actually established as they forged ahead. The drive to be on top at any cost passed through the generations and it’s still how the current-day Duttons operate.

When Helen Mirren agreed to take her spot in the cast, she put all faith in Taylor Sheridan’s unique creative approach as he told that story. She has no regrets about jumping in.

“Taylor is kind of a genius, and going back to your original question: I did sign up for it without having read a script,” she continued. “I wasn’t used to doing television this way. I had no idea what I was walking into, and I still don’t quite understand it. But that’s exciting!”

“It’s a lot more like real life,” she continued. “I don’t know what’s around the corner most days. I know the plumber is coming by around 10 a.m. tomorrow. But apart from that, I have no idea what’s going to happen to me.”

1923 just concluded its first season on Paramount+. But the network has already confirmed that another season is on the Horizon. Taylor Sheridan is also working on two more Yellowstone spinoffs, 6666 and 1944.