Taylor Sheridan Was Not Messing Around When He Convinced Harrison Ford And Helen Mirren To Join 1923

Jacob and Cara Dutton hugging on fence in 1923
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Taylor Sheridan has been nailing it with the Yellowstone franchise, with the successful Western drama spawning even more successful spinoffs. The latest iteration that Sheridan created follows the Duttons during the Western expansion, prohibition, and Great Depression, and the cast of 1923 includes some big names like Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. Now Sheridan has opened up about just how he managed to convince them to be in the series.

Sheridan is no stranger to having big names star in his shows, as he did have power country couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill star in 1883, with a few other big cameos along the way, not to mention Kevin Costner in Yellowstone! He told Deadline the wild story of how he convinced Ford and Mirren to do 1923, and he was determined:

Truth? I called him and said come down to my ranch, and he flew down. I did the same with Helen. . . . He flew down. I said, we’re going to do this thing together. He goes, can I read a script? I said, you can when it’s written, but it ain’t written yet, and you got to commit to it now. I need to know who I’m writing for. I’m done wondering who I’m writing for, and I have to go try to chase the person I had in my mind, and I can’t get the person because they’re doing some fucking Netflix show. I don’t do that shit anymore.

Harrison Ford may not often get pitches like what Taylor Sheridan presented him, but the success of Yellowstone proves that the 1923 creator knows what he's doing to craft hit shows. It also sounds like Sheridan had his fill of not being able to cast stars due to their commitments to other shows, so he was getting ahead of that potential problem with Ford and Helen Mirren!

His persistence really paid off, as Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren both joined the new series. Sheridan continued the story:

So, are you going to do it, or are you going to watch Chris Cooper do the next great thing? What do you want to do? I poured about two bottles of wine down him. He said yes. I got him on the plane as fast as I could, closed the deal, and said, send me the next one. Then came Helen, and same thing. Have a glass of wine.

The 1923 premiere proved that Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren made the right choice, as it expanded the Yellowstone universe and premiered to an audience of more than 7 million, according to Variety. With former James Bond star Timothy Dalton in the villainous role of Donald Whitfield and likely more surprises in store as the season goes on, fans have much to look forward to.

1923 marks Harrison Ford’s first major TV role, aside from starring in a number of television films. The role comes ahead of next year’s new comedy Shrinking, which will stream on Apple TV+ with a subscription beginning on January 23. Helen Mirren, meanwhile, has been dominating both big and small screens in recent years.

Ahead of 1923’s first airing, the duo lit up the red carpet at the Paramount series’ premiere with their castmates alongside Taylor Sheridan. Although it’s always hard to predict how a series or movie will go, Sheridan was right to call upon Ford and Mirren to carry on the Dutton family. It will surely be interesting to see what happens in the remaining episodes.

Be sure to watch Jacob and Cara Dutton navigate the 1920s with their family and allies along the way in new episodes of 1923 air on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Paramount Network and Paramount+ with a subscription. Check out CinemaBlend’s 2023 TV schedule to see what else is coming soon in the new year!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.