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Taylor Sheridan Used Real-Life Interactions With His 1923 Actors When Writing Their Characters

Taylor Sheridan has become one of the most prolific names in Hollywood over the past couple of years, with his flagship title "Yellowstone" exploding in popularity and spawning a slew of spinoff programs that are also created by Sheridan. One of those shows is "1923," a prequel series which chronicles the early days of the Dutton ranch and those who laid down their lives to protect it.

As with his previous work, Sheridan manages to fill the world of "1923" with unique, vibrant characters that make the show seem alive and captivating. Part of what makes these characters come to life on-screen is Sheridan's tendency to incorporate real-life interactions with the actors into their on-screen personas — as is the case with Brandon Sklenar's Spencer Dutton.

"It's funny because [Sheridan] is very collaborative, but it's in this weird way where you're not even aware that it's happening," Sklenar told The Wrap. "He'll hear you say something, or he'll see you do something, and then it'll find its way into an episode. He's always drawing inspiration from these corners of interaction, and you don't know where it's coming from or when it's happening." 

Sklenar said that this gives him a chance to influence his character, something that he absolutely loves, even if he's not always aware it's happening.

This isn't the first time Sheridan has used reality to influence his characters

Brandon Sklenar went on to explain that Taylor Sheridan's tendency to incorporate real-life interactions into characters occurs with every actor on the show, meaning that every one of them has the opportunity to influence their character through their real-life personality. This isn't the first time that Sheridan has made an effort to blend fiction and reality in the "Yellowstone" franchise, particularly when casting the actors who would work on the original series' Dutton ranch. 

Ranch hands like Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith), Ethan (Ethan Lee), and Jake (Jake Ream) are all played by real life cowboys with experience in horseback riding and ranch work. Jake Ream, in particular, worked his way up from real-life wrangler to supporting cast due to his close relationship with Sheridan himself.

Whether he's recruiting real-life cowboys or turning actor quirks into character traits, it's clear that Sheridan makes an effort to combine reality and fiction whenever he's writing. One has to believe that's part of the reason why "Yellowstone" and "1923" are packed with so many compelling characters.