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Harrison Ford's Character On 1923 Sounds Like He May Be One Of Taylor Sheridan's Best Creations Yet

Taylor Sheridan is creating an empire on the back of his wildly successful show "Yellowstone," which has already spawned one spin-off in the form of "1883." Next in the pipeline is "1883" sequel and "Yellowstone" prequel "1923," which stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren as the early 20th-century Dutton clan holding down the fort at their powerful ranch and which will premiere on December 18 on Paramount+.

Ford and Mirren join a growing list of high-profile stars signing on to Sheridan's projects, with the first being Kevin Costner on "Yellowstone." As John Dutton, Costner walks a fine line of likability as the strong-willed 21st-century leader of the Dutton clan and owner of the largest ranch in Montana. Now, Ford is stepping into Dutton ancestor Jacob Dutton's shoes in "1923," taking over the reins where Tim McGraw left off as James Dutton in "1883" and becoming the connective glue to the modern-day "Yellowstone" storyline.

'The challenge is living up to the character'

During a virtual press conference for "1923" attended by Looper, Harrison Ford admitted he signed on to star in "1923" before even seeing a script based on conversations he had had with Taylor Sheridan and his desire to work with former "Mosquito Coast" co-star Helen Mirren again. It's a move the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" star doesn't regret. In fact, despite his impressive career in blockbuster films, he sees his work on "1923" as one of his "most ambitious" roles ever, thanks in part to Sheridan's writing.

"It's so well written. The challenge is living up to the character," said Ford. And that's saying a lot coming from a man who has played such culturally iconic characters as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, among others. But what makes the role so easy and enviable for Ford is the way Sheridan has laid out the character so precisely.

"The way [the] character is written, I began to see that Taylor had created an architecture that, once I recognized the architecture of things, I could see that the story was built on hinge moments in the character's life," said Ford. "Since I [knew] which way the hinge was turning, and where we were going, I was seeing that a lot of the development was being done for me by Taylor. The usual work of an actor trying to have to phrase himself through a story was nailed down tight. And really, to be honest, I could just be there and be real in that circumstance as much as possible, and it would do the job."