HomeEntertainmentTVYellowstone‘1923’s Helen Mirren Reveals Why She Took Cara Dutton Role Despite Dislike for Westerns

‘1923’s Helen Mirren Reveals Why She Took Cara Dutton Role Despite Dislike for Westerns

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo credit: James Minchin III/Paramount+)

Although she’s not a huge fan of western films and shows, 1923 star Helen Mirren reveals what drew her to her Cara Dutton role.

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During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Mirren opened up about the key reason why she took the 1923 role. “I loved Taylor Sheridan’s films,” she explained, pointing out the 1923 creator’s film Wind River.

The acting icon also stated that she knew the role wasn’t going to be the normal “kind of Western” either. She said she’s not a fan of the extremely “old-fashioned” idea of a Western. “The sort of 1950s version where the women were either teachers or madams at a brothel,” Helen Mirren continued “And there was nothing in between. I knew 1923 wouldn’t be like that.”

However, she did admit that she liked ONE western, which is Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. “I thought it was fantastic. That’s my kind of Western, with characters that are incredibly flawed and interesting, and violent. You know, the survivalist nature of The Hateful Eight, it was incredible.” 

When asked why she thinks Yellowstone significantly “stuck a chord” with its audience, Helen Mirren stated she sees the show as being America’s War and Peace. “You know, it’s that huge arc of history told through a family’s perspective, in a raw and rather uncomfortable way. 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!”

‘1923’ Actress Helen Mirren Praises Taylor Sheridan As Being ‘Kind Of’ A Genius & Admitted She Didn’t Read the Script Before Signing Onto the Show

Along with discussing how Yellowstone stands out, Helen Mirren pointed out that Taylor Sheridan, in her eyes, is kind of a genius. She thought so highly of him that she didn’t bother even reading the 1923 script before signing on.

“I wasn’t used to doing television this way, I had no idea what I was walking into,” Mirren explained. “And I still don’t quite understand it. But that’s exciting! It’s how a certain kind of television show works now, where you don’t know if your character is going to live or die from one episode to the next.”

To that, Helen Mirren says the fate of each character remains unknown until the next script arrives. She describes that as being a lot like real life. “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.”

In regards to the “best and worst” part of her success, Helen Mirren added that the best part for her is economic independence. “I grew up in a family that, economically, was always on the edge,” she recalled. “So that is fantastic. The worst? The constant fear that utter failure is right around the corner. The pendulum always swings back. It’s just a question of when, not if.”