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“Like family”: Helen Mirren on reuniting with Harrison Ford in ‘1923’

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Paramount+/James Minchin III

The song goes “The Times They Are A-Changing” — and you could say that theme looms large in the next chapter of the Dutton family saga, which started with Paramount’s monster-hit Yellowstone and continued with 1883 on Paramount+.

Now, the needle moves to 1923, set against the backdrop of one of the most volatile times in American history: drought, pandemics, the end of Prohibition and the Great Depression looming.

“People were of huge courage and fortitude and had the ability to survive,” says Helen Mirren, who plays family matriarch Cara Dutton, an Irish immigrant dedicated to protecting her land and family at all costs.

At her side is Jacob Dutton, head of the Yellowstone Ranch, played by Harrison Ford.

Mirren tells ABC Audio shooting Taylor Sheridan’s ambitious series had its challenges, but working with Ford put things at ease: “It was a bit like he was a member of family. Not so much my husband. I’ve got one of those! But like a brother … someone that I felt I utterly trusted.”

It’s the first time they’ve been paired onscreen since 1986’s The Mosquito Coast, and Mirren says 36 years later, all is well between the two. “I can’t believe that Harrison has had the life and the experience on the level that he had and stayed the really warm, kind, generous human being that he is,” she says.

As for what viewers can expect from 1923, Ford says simply trust in Sheridan: “I always am ambitious for pretty much the same thing, and that is an emotional storytelling connection. Taylor’s writing is so tight and so well developed that it’s a great pleasure to just be part of the project.”

The first episode of 1923 arrives on Paramount+ Sunday, December 18.

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