James Badge Dale & Marley Shelton on the Yellowstone Prequel

Dec 27, 2022

From creator and executive producer Taylor Sheridan, Paramount+ series 1923 is a prequel that builds out more of the Dutton dynasty first established on-screen in Yellowstone. The show takes place after the events of the previous prequel, 1883, starring Tim McGraw as James Dutton and Faith Hill as Margaret Dutton, which chronicled the story of the family’s journey West to settle in Montana and form the beginnings of what will become the Yellowstone Ranch. When 1923 begins, a new generation of the Dutton family has taken ownership of the Yellowstone — led by James’ brother Jacob (Harrison Ford), his wife Cara (Helen Mirren), and James’ surviving children, who are now running the ranch in his stead. That’s all before they’re confronted with the hardships of such events as Prohibition and the Great Depression — as well as competitors who are constantly looking to take over the land that the Duttons have firmly staked their claim on. The series also stars Darren Mann, Michelle Randolph, James Badge Dale, Marley Shelton, Brian Geraghty, Aminah Nieves, Brandon Sklenar, Robert Patrick, Jerome Flynn, Jennifer Ehle, Sebastian Roché, and Timothy Dalton.

Ahead of the series’ December 18 premiere on Paramount+, Collider was given the opportunity to speak with several members of 1923’s ensemble about becoming a part of the Yellowstone franchise, including Dale and Shelton. Over the course of the interview, which you can read below, the co-stars discussed the significance that each of their characters — John Dutton Sr. and Emma Dutton, respectively — play in the prequel series, what new skills they were able to learn to prepare for their roles, and more.

Collider: James, your character is described as being sort of the right hand of Harrison’s character. What were you looking forward to exploring with him when you read Taylor Sheridan’s scripts for the first time?

JAMES BADGE DALE: We just jump right into it, and I think that’s what the viewers [are] going to find. It’s like this thing is… You’re immediately on a train, rolling downhill, followed by boulders, in a snowstorm.

MARLEY SHELTON: Yes. Momentum is there.

DALE: You run with it. I like to run with things and so does Marley. That’s kind of the fun part, you get to discover these things, and Taylor’s really a gifted writer, but he also lets us bring our own ideas. He gives us this template, and then we’re allowed to fill it up with all these different colors and shades.

Image via Paramount+

RELATED: Harrison Ford on ‘1923,’ Reuniting With Helen Mirren, and Joining the Dutton Dynasty

Speaking of filling the template, Marley, when we meet your character, she feels like this steady presence, but also somebody who is a little bit of a confidant for Helen’s character. With that foundation in mind, what was it like to build out that dynamic alongside her?

SHELTON: Yeah, you’re right. They’re kind of comrades in arms. They’re in the trenches together because the dynamic that’s set up is when the men of the family go off on these cattle drives, it is Helen’s character and my character, Emma, that are left to run the show. We have to stave off fear that our men might never come back. We have to stave off fear that we might get attacked at any moment by animals or sheepherders.

DALE: Animals or sheepherders. Sheepherders sounds so dangerous.

SHELTON: There’s all kinds of dangers lurking in Montana plains. There is a bond of that shared experience that Helen and I, our characters, both have. It’s an unspoken knowing, what’s really going on underneath, but we have to kind of decidedly not go there because we have to keep… I think just methodically running the ranch keeps us from spiraling into fear and worry and loneliness.

Image via Paramount+

Speaking of life on the ranch, I heard that the cast got to do a little something called cowboy camp. For both of you, what was something that you had to learn how to do for this show that you’d never done before, either personally or career-wise?

DALE: I’ve run some horses before, and the thing is, you start to learn that’s like there’s always another level. There’s always another level that you can grow into. For me, I was just trying to be a calmer horseback rider. ‘Cause you see the guys who’re really good, and they’re so smooth, and they’re so chill, and it’s effortless.

SHELTON: I got to try all kinds of new skills out. My character drives a buggy, so I got to also learn how to do that, which was really actually challenging but also really fun. I got really into the cattle herding aspect of cowboy camp. We did these drills when they were teaching us how to herd cattle into different corrals or pick them off or separate them, and they turned it into a competition, like a competitive game. They would time us. They’d pair us off, and we’d have to go and get five cattle and move them into a different corral. They all had to be the same color. What do they call the red ones? There was some special name, but [you’d] get three black, two red, and then there were the multicolor.

DALE: Oh, I can’t remember. I wasn’t paying attention that day.

SHELTON: If you got the wrong color cattle, then it was automatic (buzzer sound), but I got so into it. I loved the competition and…

DALE: Takes first place every time. Me, dead last. You’re amazing.

SHELTON: That was a thrill.

1923 premieres Sunday, December 18 on Paramount+.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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