Meeting Hollywood icons Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford would be one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments, let alone for an actor to work beside them. For the cast of the new Yellowstone spinoff 1923, having Mirren and Ford as co-stars has been a dream come true.
“It’s like the first rule of Fight Club is you can’t talk about Fight Club,” James Badge Dale, who plays John Dutton Jr. in the series, joked to SheKnows’ Reshma Gopaldas. With some mild prodding, however, Dale was happy to share his experience. “It’s so wild, because they’re so cool, they’re so funny,” he said. “They’re there to play.”
For him, working with the two has not only taught him about acting, but it’s given him a new appreciation of the art too. “You’re reminded of what we do for a living, and we take it very seriously, but that love of the play has to be there, because that’s what matters when the camera starts rolling,” he said. “I feel more passionate about being an actor having worked with Harrison.”
Marley Shelton, who plays Emma Dutton, couldn’t agree more. “100%, absolutely,” she said. Shelton also remembered the first time she met Mirren and admitted she was starstruck just like the rest of us would be. “We hadn’t met yet and [series creator] Taylor Sheridan set up this cowboy camp that we all went to, to learn how to ride horses and get used to ranch life. Helen arrives and the rest of us actors were all sitting around the table and we were all a little bit starstruck,” she recalled. Mirren, casually then asked, “Do you mind if I sit down and join you for breakfast?”
Shelton added, “My point is she just put everybody immediately at ease. Then we were just off to the races, she’s just got such a great sense of humor.”
Brian Geraghty, who plays Zane Davis on the show, also remembered his most memorable moments with the two. “My first week I had a scene with Helen. I was obviously very excited and she was so supportive and she made me feel so comfortable and I just saw how much she cared,” he said, adding that his new co-star “exceeded my expectations.”
When talking about Ford, Geraghty couldn’t help but share how impressed he was with Ford’s natural skills, especially at 80 years old. “He’s 80, if you look on Wikipedia it says that, and that guy can get on a horse, he can run a horse, he’s great on a horse, [he can] shoot guns off the horse,” he said, adding that the crew if often “trying to keep up with him.” Geraghty raved, “The guy’s 80, it’s like incredible!”
When asked which cast members from Yellowstone or its first sequel 1883 they’d like to see join their show, the cast quickly answered. “I’d go with Kelly Reilly,” Dale said of the star who plays Beth Dutton on Yellowstone. “We did a movie together, I think the world of her. She’s got the chops, she’s coming for ya.”
Jennifer Ehle, who plays Sister Mary, also vouched for Reilly. “Oh, Kelly,” she said, “no question.”
Shelton, on the other hand, chose someone from 1883. “I was just really blown away by Tim McGraw in 1883,” she said of the country singer. “I did not know he was such a rough and tough cowboy, he has serious acting chops. I was blown away by his performance.” She also gave a major shoutout to another Yellowstone star and iconic actor Kevin Costner. “I’ve always been a massive fan of Kevin Costner, of course,” she added.
For Geraghty, the answer was quite obvious. “Sam Elliot, of course,” he said, talking about the 1883 star. “I live in Malibu and one time, I was in the produce section at our grocer out there, and I heard, “Do you have any honey-crisp apples?” and I look up and I saw the mustache right there,” he said, perfectly impersonating Elliot’s signature raspy voice.
Check out the video of the new show’s cast swooning over Mirren, Ford and the franchise’s other actors above and to find out how Mirren feels about the show, watch our exclusive interview!