March 2, 2023

The first season of 1923 ended Sunday with Cara’s (Helen Mirren) nephew Spencer (Brandon Sklenar) still far from saving the day in Montana, while the ruthless Donald Whitfield (Timothy Dalton) informed Jacob (Harrison Ford) that he pretty much owns the Duttons after having paid the property taxes on their ranch. In other words, life will probably get a whole lot worse for Cara and Jacob before it gets any better.

In her only post-season interview, Mirren talks with Deadline about what attracted her to 1923, why her character is Irish, and what she expects from Spencer in Season 2.< DEADLINE: How did you first book the role?
: I think the original approach came through my agent. And as one normally does, you say “Oh that’s interesting. I would love to read a script.” And he said, “Oh no no no there is no script.” That’s unheard of! How can I agree to something if I haven’t read a script? And the answer came back, “Well Sheridan likes to write for the people he knows who are playing the roles,” which seemed to me a very sensible way of approaching it. So I said, “If that’s the case then I should meet Sheridan” because maybe after he met me, he won’t want to write a role for me at all. He should know who I am. I went to meet with him in Texas and had a wonderful time. I knew of his work with Hell or High Water and Wind River. I thought his work was extraordinary. He came with huge credentials as far as I was concerned. I just really enjoyed his company. So I thought, “Yeah okay and I’ll jump in the deep end and have a go.” And I’m so thrilled that I did because I think it’s going to be one of the really great experiences of my life.

DEADLINE: Did he tell you what to expect, what would happen in the story?
MIRREN: No it wasn’t that. It was more about getting to know each other as people, what makes you laugh, what you like to eat. Just a general chit-chat, which I thought was really great. Then the script arrives, I see the character and the way the character is developing, and I could see it was like me. He had written specifically to my strengths, if you like. I thought of making her Irish because America very much in those days was a country of immigrants. I wanted to heighten that fact. He said, “Absolutely. That’s fine.” And off we went.

Read the full article/interview in our press library.