Michelle Randolph: Elizabeth, Jack represent hope in tough times for the Duttons in '1923'

The Season 1 finale of "1923" airs Sunday. Photo courtesy of Paramount+
The Season 1 finale of "1923" airs Sunday. Photo courtesy of Paramount+

NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- 1923 star Michelle Randolph says life may not be easy on their 20th century Montana cattle ranch, but young-and-in-love Elizabeth Strafford and Jack Dutton will weather any hardship as long as they can be together.

"Elizabeth is a fiery young woman and she is figuring out the life she wants to live and she's strong and she's resilient. We see this throughout the season," Randolph told UPI about her character in a recent Zoom interview. "Both her and Jack represent a lot of hope."


The Yellowstone prequel wraps up its first season Sunday and the Taylor Sheridan-created show has already been renewed for Season 2.

The period drama follows the Dutton family through a particularly difficult year when their cattle don't have enough to eat, the economy is collapsing, technology is advancing and mining titan Donald Whitfield and his minions want to run them off their property by any means possible.


Elizabeth and Jack (Darren Mann) live on the Yellowstone Ranch with Jack's great-uncle Jacob (Harrison Ford) and great-aunt Cara (Helen Mirren.) Early in the season, both of their fathers are killed in a land war and Elizabeth's mother sells the Strafford family ranch to Whitfield.

Randolph describes the relationship between Elizabeth as "passionate and beautiful and innocent and very pure," while Mann noted how different it was for 20-somethings living 100 years ago in a sparsely populated mountain region to meet and get to know each other.

"We don't have instagram back then," he quipped. "We don't have Google."

Mann went on to say Jack -- grandson of Tim McGraw's 1883 character James Dutton -- is a man who "wears his heart on his sleeve."

"He loves being a cowboy. He loves this way of life. He loves his family and he's down to do whatever he has to do to preserve it," Mann explained.

Randolph acknowledged marrying a rancher comes with sacrifices, such as Elizabeth having to put off her dream wedding so the ranchers can move the cattle to a location with better grass.


"You don't always get to decide when things happen. The timing is dependent on the cattle and their conditions. That is something that Elizabeth is learning, definitely," Randolph said.

"As we see her throughout the season, she figures out how to do that and stay true to her core, which I think is special."

Jack is disappointed when their walk down the aisle has to be postponed, but he understands it is necessary and misjudges how upset Elizabeth is by the date change.

"He thinks that it should all be fine," Mann said.

"She's a rancher's daughter and these cows are our livelihood. Without them, we can't really have a wedding anyway, so it's OK. It won't be a big deal, right? She'll get it. Not quite that simple. Maybe my approach and delivery weren't right," he added.

"It's fun to watch them stumble and it's fun to watch them figure themselves out and learn lessons. I think that's what's really neat about these two characters is that they are still growing, so we get to watch these things happen to them, which will shape who they are for years to come."

The stars said Montana was beautiful, but the weather could be challenging.


"It started to get very cold. Darren was out there in negative 15-degree weather," Randolph dished.

"We were riding in minus-15, but Harrison Ford was next to me and he was taking it like a champ," Mann recalled. "You know I'm not going to say nothing."

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