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1923's Darren Mann On Why 'Cowboy Camp' Was So Much Fun - Exclusive

In the "Yellowstone" universe, creator Taylor Sheridan wants everything to feel authentic. From the costumes to the corralling, the actors on the series and its two spin-offs so far — "1883" and "1923," which is now streaming episodes on Paramount+ — are put through the wringer before stepping on set, via what Sheridan calls "cowboy camp."

At the camp, which can last weeks, the actors get hands-on experience living the cowboy lifestyle, learning to ride, rope, and wrangle. It's critical stuff for city-dwelling stars to know before strapping on the cowboy hats and boots.

Sheridan notoriously put the stars of "1883" through intense training for the series, which starred Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Sam Elliott. Now, those same rigors were passed on to the actors in "1923," in which Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren play Jacob and Cara Dutton, who stepped in to take over the Yellowstone ranch when pioneers James Dutton (McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Hill) died.

While cowboy camp offers serious training, it's also a lot of fun, according to "1923" actor Darren Mann, who recently spoke exclusively with Looper.

Mann bonded with his fellow 1923 co-stars at camp

On "Yellowstone," "1883," and "1923," the actors are expected to look like they know what they're doing, even if they didn't have a clue before attending cowboy camp. On a show like "1923," the stars spend a lot of time on horseback and wrangling cattle as the Dutton dynasty continues to grow all-powerful in mountainous Montana during a devastating drought.

For rising star Darren Mann, the positives of cowboy camp far outweighed the harshness of the learning curve.

"It's the best way to start a job," said Mann. "... We wanted to look good doing what we're supposed to know how to do, so that was super helpful. A lot of times, you only get a day or two to work on something you're going to do on set the next day. So for them to dedicate this time [for] us to get to learn and to have all these amazing cowboys and great horses there for multiple weeks prior to starting was really special. I'm grateful."

But it's not just the outdoorsy skills he learned that made a lasting impression. "Getting to meet your castmates before day one and getting to go through something with them and create bonds was so great," he said. "It was such a good way to start a job."

New episodes of "1923" stream on Sundays on Paramount+.