Helen Mirren has had a big week and it’s about to get even bigger as the upcoming “Yellowstone” spin-off, “1923”, which she stars in, is set to premiere this Sunday.
The actress, who is the narrator in the new “Barbie” teaser and the therapist in Kendrick Lamar’s new music video “Count Me Out”, which both released on Friday, couldn’t help but laugh in a new interview with Variety while speaking about her new projects.
“I do love to mix it up,” she told the outlet. “I love to do whatever is quite different from the last thing I’ve done, and I’m very, very fortunate that I’m sort of being allowed to do that. I’m having an enormous amount of fun doing it.”
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The “Good Liar” star, 77, is known for stepping outside her comfort zone as she continues to take on new projects, including the upcoming Paramount+ series “1923”, the latest instalment in the Taylor Sheridan franchise, which she stars in alongside Harrison Ford, 80.
“I wasn’t hugely familiar with the whole thing,” she admitted. “What interested me about [‘1923’], I did see ‘1883,’ and that era of American history has always really fascinated me,” she said of Sheridan’s other “Yellowstone” spin-off led by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
“The fact that Harrison was going to be involved was very important for me. Both of us committed to it without really reading any scripts. We didn’t really know what we were signing up for — the specifics of what we were signing up for. We had trust in Taylor’s extraordinary abilities as a writer and we took a leap of faith,” she continued.
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Mirren and Ford previously worked together 36-years-ago in the 1986 film “The Mosquito Coast” and have remained friends ever since. Now, the two take on the roles of husband and wife, Cara and Jacob Dutton, who “manage a family farm in Montana amid many hardships,” as per Variety.
“They’ve been together for 50 years. When you do spend 50 [years together], years ago, especially in in the circumstances that Cara and Jacob are living their lives, it becomes, at its best, an absolute equal partnership,” Mirren explained of her and Ford’s characters. “I love the fact that it’s what happens after, ‘and they lived happily ever after.’ What happens next? I love that Taylor has given the room and the space in the story to look at a mature relationship and see how that relationship can succeed or flounder and the challenges involved in keeping a relationship together.”
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Sheridan’s story of the couple’s equal partnership is something that was rarely depicted during that time period, however, it’s something that Mirren thinks is “essential.”
“Taylor writes great women,” she said. “He doesn’t have any prejudices when he writes his women characters, and there are really strong women characters in our piece.”
“1923” premieres Dec. 18 on Paramount+.