ford: Harrison Ford flaunts rustic cowboy avatar in ‘Yellowstone’ spinoff TV series ‘1923’ | Daily News Byte

ford: Harrison Ford flaunts rustic cowboy avatar in ‘Yellowstone’ spinoff TV series ‘1923’

 | Daily News Byte

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Harrison Ford has rarely bothered with television since ‘Star Wars’ propelled him to A-list movie fame nearly half a century ago — but that’s about to change in the small-screen Western ” 1923.”

Taking off from ‘Yellowstone,’ a modern cowboy saga that became a rare cable TV ratings juggernaut in the United States, Ford’s prequel series traces the ancestors of the wealthy, ruthless Dutton clan and their sprawling Montana ranch.

“It’s a very complex and ambitious — epic, even — undertaking, this story,” Ford said.
AFP at the Los Angeles premiere for the show, which will stream on Paramount+ from Sunday.

With the show shot mainly on location in Montana, Ford joked that he was lured to ‘1923’ by the prospect of “outdoor work.” But Ford, who spent years working in recurring television jobs in Los Angeles before he was cast as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, isn’t the only Hollywood film giant to sign up for the TV series. .

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He and Oscar winner Helen Mirren co-star as Jacob and Cara Dutton, a long-married couple who work to protect their land and cattle from bears, wolves and jealous neighbors rancher. Former James Bond actor Timothy Dalton was cast as the villain.

Their presence in ‘1923’ is part of a wider trend in the entertainment industry. Movie stars from Al Pacino to Meryl Streep flocked to the small screen to be part of the so-called “golden age of television.”

The deep penetration of streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV+ has created a highly competitive and profitable marketplace, forcing other networks to raise their game.

“It just follows good writing,” Ford said.

“Writing can be found in movies and on television, and I just found some great writing on television. That’s why I wanted to do it.”

Ford is still set to appear on the silver screen in next year’s ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ as well as several Marvel superhero films in a minor recurring role.

– ‘American history’ – Of course, few recent series can boast the success of ‘Yellowstone.’

Its season five premiere last month broke ratings records, drawing more than 12 million viewers to Paramount’s relatively small cable network — a number higher than ‘Game of Thrones’ during the same period.

The show, which appeals to America’s conservative heartland, has already launched a separate Dutton family prequel spin-off called ‘1883,’ starring Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

But “this particular Duttons saga has a different kind of character from the other two,” says Ford, circa ‘1923.’

“Each of them has an individual character that I think is really interesting and powerful.”

For Mirren, ‘1923’ is a “wonderful observation and essay on American history” that feels like “a vast Russian novel.”

Dalton said the truth about the pioneers of the West “has never been told honestly, has it?”

“It’s been dressed-up in idealism… people are not very nice when they’re in bad circumstances.”

– ‘Love in the land’ – On the show, Ford is regularly seen on horseback in the spectacular mountains of Montana — just a few hours’ drive from the remote Wyoming ranch the actor called home for decades .

In the first episode, his character is confronted by a sheep rancher who says the size of Dutton’s massive and heavily guarded property is unfair, as his neighbors are scrambling to keep their flocks alive in the mess. -sparse terrain around.

The question of who owns America’s majestic West is a common theme in the “Yellowstone” shows, which depict Native Americans as well as ranchers.

It’s close to home for Ford, who moved from California to Wyoming seeking privacy in the 1980s, and is an active environmentalist who has donated hundreds of acres of his own land for conservation.

So, does ‘1923’ have any lessons for resolving America’s endless debate over its most precious resource?

“Well, there are perceptions, which are not mine, about the land,” Ford said.

“But it’s a complicated issue, love of the land — what it means, in a particular place, at a particular time, to a particular kind of person.”

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