Helen Mirren Joined Cast Of ‘1923’ Before Taylor Sheridan Had Written Any Scripts – Contenders TV

Helen Mirren had no clue who she would play in the Paramount+ series 1923 because creator Taylor Sheridan likes to build characters around the actors who are cast to play them.

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“For the first time in my life, I wasn’t given a script. I had no idea what it was going to be, and likewise for Harrison [Ford],” Mirren shared during Deadline’s Contenders Television panel Sunday. “We were asked to participate, and you do what you do as an actor and say, ‘Lovely, sounds really interesting. I’d love to read the script?’ But there is no script. Taylor likes to write for the people that he knows are going to play the role. That was a combination of flattering and at the same time sort of rather nerve-wracking because I’d actually never met Taylor Sheridan and maybe when he meets me, he won’t want to write for me.”

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Mirren suggested a meeting with Sheridan so they could get to know each other. They did, and it was a “great evening,” she said. She later revealed what an “amazing moment” it was when a script finally made it into her hands and she learned all about the character she would play in the Yellowstone prequel series on Paramouint+.

“The Irish thing is something I added personally,” Mirren added. “I thought about how when you see Westerns, you don’t see enough people with accents even though they were all recent immigrants. … Apart from that, honestly, it’s amazing writing, and what’s on the page, it arrives and it’s kind of perfect. It’s extraordinary.”

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Her co-stars Aminah Nieves, who plays Teonna Rainwater, and Brandon Sklenar, who plays Spencer Dutton, also shared insight into their castings.

“It came into my inbox, and I was terrified when I read it because it was so raw and true,” said Nieves. “I really just wanted to honor our community as best as I could. And then after the second time, I taped for it. I was like, ‘Yeah, this isn’t up to me anymore. This is really up to spirit, and my mom forced me and here we are.’”

Added Sklenar: “I was taking a little bit of a sabbatical because I was doing an unbelievable amount of auditions and self-tapes. I was kind of spinning my gears a bit. At the time, I was on a three-week backpacking trip in Oregon and Washington. In the middle of that trip, I had been sleeping in a tent for 2½ weeks when I got the call to do the tape, which was kind of fitting because I was in nature living in a tent. I sent my self-tape and carried on with my trip when I got a call to go to Jackson Hole to test. I read with Taylor and pretty much knew in the room. I had a feeling when I first read it on the page that it was my guy. The words just make sense coming out of your mouth.”

Check back Tuesday for the panel video.

Deadline Contenders Television is sponsored by Apple TV+, Coverfly, Eyepetizer, Final Draft, Los Siete Misterios, Michter’s, and Village Roadshow Entertainment. Partners include: Four Seasons Resort Maui, The American Pavilion, Julia Wong Designs and Pampring.

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