Taylor Sheridan Hopes Yellowstone 1883 Sets Hollywood’s Historical Record Straight

Marc Rissmann plays Josef, one of the immigrants in the series, who is struggling with exactly these issues. In the same featurette, Rissman explains: 

“Historically, there was a lot of frustration in Europe if you wanted to own land … there was a German immigrant who wrote letters about how beautiful Texas is and everything. And these letters were printed in a German newspaper. Many Germans at the time read them, and that was their decision to come … people dreamed of change and being free.”

These brave travelers took a huge risk with no idea of what they were in for. I recently spoke to Helen Mirren, who plays the sister-in-law of James Dutton in the upcoming prequel “1923,” and even she was surprised by the vastness of America. She spoke about a trip across the country by train when she was in America doing theater in the 1960s. She said that she was stunned by a 12-hour stretch of land (and this is a train trip, not wagons) where there was just nothing out there: “I thought, ‘Oh my God. People walked across this carrying their food, carrying their water. Women and men and children walked across this.'”

It’s such a fascinating time period, and the decision to go west with no information was a massive leap of faith. It didn’t pay off for everyone, but the stories that survived are incredible. It’s a part of history that not everyone is aware of, and it will be interesting to see what other bits of the American story that we’ll learn in the new series.

“1883” is currently streaming on Paramount+, with “1923” premiering on December 18, 2022.

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