Harrison Ford says yes to working with Helen Mirren in 1923 and debunking cowboy myths | Daily News Byte

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Drama series YellowstoneIts growth into a full-fledged television universe is truly amazing to behold.

When it debuted in June 2018, the modern Western introduced viewers to John Dutton III (Kevin Costner) and his attempts to run the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, while battling family drama, as well as the intervention of national park service, developers and the Broken Rock Indian Reservation.

Produced, directed, and written by Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water), Yellowstone quickly hit the audience. They were fascinated by the family feuds and hyper-dramatic plots, as well as the show’s beautiful cinematography, which showed its characters at one with nature as they ran around the ranch, all against stunning shots of the mountains and landscape.

The show continues to be hugely popular with viewers, so much so that it recently began its fifth season. More than that, the prequel series 1883set more than 130 years before Yellowstoneshowed how the Duttons originally came to own the land.

Sheridan isn’t done yet. His latest addition to Yellowstone television universe is 1923the follow-up series to 1883. It stars screen legends Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren as Jacob and Cara Dutton, the patriarch and matriarch of the Dutton family and farm, who have to try and endure and overcome several setbacks throughout the 1920s, including the drought, competition from other ranchers, the Prohibition era and the Great Depression.

“One of the real draws for me was the opportunity to work with Helen again,” Ford recently told a round-table of Zoom journalists during press day for 1923. “He was the first to ride [for the show].”

Harrison Ford said he liked the chance to be out in nature instead of in a studio, while filming in 1923. Image: Paramount+

Ford and Mirren previously played a married couple in the 1986 film The Mosquito Coast.

Not surprisingly, Ford was also drawn to the opportunity to work with Sheridan. When he first read the scripts for the 1923the actor was very impressed with the way Sheridan presented his initial, verbal ambitions for the show on the page.

“He put the cowboy mythology and American history under the strain of reality,” Ford explained. “There is one [big] degree of distance between what America stands for and how it acts.”

More than that, though, Ford was drawn to Jacob’s character, describing him as a “dense and complex” individual, who was truly a “challenge” to portray.

“He has hard choices to make. He makes those hard choices like an animal with its back against the wall. It’s very interesting to me,” Ford said. “Cowboys are determined. They’re fierce. They’re tough,” he later said. “We knew that about cowboys. But Taylor gave me an opportunity to express that in contexts that we don’t often see.”

Instead of focusing on his research Yellowstoneinstead Ford made sure to watch every episode of 1883because it precedes the actions of his character.

“I love the work that Kevin does [Costner’s] doing. I like the show. But 1883 is more important for me to focus on,” continued Ford. “It was very useful in helping me understand this way of storytelling.”

Helen Mirren, Taylor Sheridan and Harrison Ford at the premiere of 1923 in Las Vegas on December 3. Getty Images

Another important part of Ford’s process in playing Jacob was finding the exact costume. Ford insisted that once he found the perfect clothes for his characters, he was “part of the way to find the man.”

Of course, playing Han Solo in Star Wars franchise, as well as Indiana Jones, the mere presence of Ford on screen is enough to attract and excite the audience. Always humble, the star attributes his huge success over the past 50 years to the talented people behind the camera.

“I mean, the range of directors that I’ve had the opportunity to work with is certainly extraordinary. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve also come at a time when the film business is very closely connected to culture. We’ve had such a cultural influence. It really is [a] it’s a great time for the movie business.”

At this point, Ford doesn’t really see any difference between shooting a show like 1923 for television, and a blockbuster feature film such as Indiana Jones and The Dial Of Destinyto be released next summer.

“We used to think that television had less ambition for actors than feature films. This is no longer the case at all. 1923 is one of the most ambitious tasks I have ever done. I am very happy with what I saw today. I enjoy working with very high quality actors and actresses. We have the [same] technical capacity or ambition to shoot it as a feature film. I am very happy with the whole project.”

There is a big bonus for Ford when it comes to shooting 1923 finished Star Wars and Indiana Jonesthough.

“We spend more time outside in real places than the sets that have to be built to create a reality. Once you step out into that cold, and you’re in your 1923 costume, you begin to understand what the true life of a cowboy is like.”

1923 is out now on Paramount+

Updated: December 26, 2022, 5:06 AM

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