“I knew 1923 wouldn’t be like that”: Helen Mirren Blindly Signed Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone Spin-off After Watching His 1 Movie Despite Hating Westerns

Helen Mirren made quite a few exceptions to her usual rules of accepting a series role owing to Taylor Sheridan's reputation.

helen mirren in 1923, taylor sheridan’s yellowstone


  • Helen Mirren plays the Dutton family matriarch in Taylor Sheridan's Yellowstone spinoff series 1923.
  • Mirren, who's not a big fan of the normal Western films, was impressed by Sheridan's one film that convinced her to take on this role.
  • Mirren shared that working without a script in the series was an exciting experience as she didn't know what will happen to her character.
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After the incredible success of Yellowstone, Taylor Sheridan roped in Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford for the prequel series 1923. It follows the story of the Dutton family in 1923, where Mirren played Cara Dutton and Ford played her husband Jacob Dutton. Mirren is not an actress to walk into a television show without reading a script. On top of that, she hated most of the “normal” Western films. However, she signed on to the Yellowstone spin-off without a script.

Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren in a still from 1923
Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren in a still from 1923

Mirren revealed that she loved Taylor Sheridan’s Western films, especially his 2017 film Wind River. She revealed that the creator managed to carve out some incredibly flawed characters, which made the series a different experience for her.

Helen Mirren Was Drawn To Taylor Sheridan’s Western Drama 1923 After Watching His One Film

elizabeth olsen and jeremy renner wind river 2017
Helen Mirren loved Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River which made her sign on for 1923 without a script

Helen Mirren is an unapologetic badass in Taylor Sheridan‘s Yellowstone spin-off 1923. Mirren plays the Dutton family matriarch in the film and gets her shot at a role in a Western drama, a genre that she publicly hated. However, when it came to 1923, the Shazam! Fury of the Gods actress signed on for the role without reading a script.


Mirren shared in an interview with Rolling Stone that she loved Sheridan’s Western films and became a fan of the creator after watching his film, Wind River. Sheridan’s neo-Western crime film starred Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner. Set in the Wind River Indian Reservation, the film explores the investigation of the death of Natalie Hanson of the Northern Arapaho tribe.

The film aimed to raise awareness of the atrocities committed against indigenous women, both on and off reservations. The strongly themed film received critical acclaim and garnered the love of many, including Mirren’s.

During her interview, Mirren also shared that Sheridan’s Western movies were not your typical ones where the women were either teachers or madams at a brothel. She knew that she had a more powerful role in the series. Mirren shared with Rolling Stone:


“I loved Taylor Sheridan’s films. I loved Wind River. I knew that it wouldn’t be the normal kind of Western, the kind that I don’t usually like. Which, I have to say, is an extremely old fashioned idea of a Western — the sort of 1950s version where the women were either teachers or madams at a brothel, and there was nothing in between. I knew 1923 wouldn’t be like that.”

It is not just Sheridan’s kind of Western films that Mirren loved. She also loved one Quentin Tarantino film that depicted characters that are incredibly flawed, interesting, and violent. She revealed being a fan of the neo-noir Western film The Hateful Eight from the director.

Helen Mirren Was Excited To Work Without A Script In 1923

Helen Mirren was excited to work without a script in 1923
Helen Mirren was excited to work without a script in 1923

Helen Mirren told Rolling Stone that she was not used to doing television roles without reading a script. For 1923, Helen Mirren and the others were given the script only before the filming of a particular episode. Mirren shared that she would have no idea about what she would be walking into, which made the filming more exciting for her. She revealed that she would’ve no idea whether her character would live or die in the next episode. Mirren shared:

“I did sign up for it without having read a script. 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 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. You have no idea until the next script arrives.”

The Queen actress also gave her insight into why the Yellowstone franchise became so successful among American viewers. She revealed that the series told the countryside’s history from a family’s perspective. According to Mirren, the story was raw and uncomfortable in a lot of ways since the “people are incredibly flawed, they make very bad decisions, they’re cruel, they’re greedy, arrogant and self-interested,” yet they turned out to be the heroes.


1923 is now available for streaming on Paramount+, while Yellowstone is available for streaming on Peacock.


Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1466

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.