The nascent acting talent opens up about starring in new series 1923, filming in the rolling hills of Montana, and how she started her charity House Cat.

Michelle Randolph isn’t merely an actress. Of course, acting is one of her greatest strengths – but Randolph’s animal rescue charity House Cat is of equal importance. Garnering donations to raise money for animal organisations worldwide, from Turkey, and LA, to Kuwait and beyond – Randolph hasn’t come to play. Helping others is simply at the top of her priority list.

As the catalyst for such life-changing donations, even more excitement is abound as the rising star’s television debut has arrived; Randolph plays the character Liz Stratford in 1923. Lapping up guidance from costar Helen Mirren, and basking in Montana’s stunning landscapes – Randolph’s time on set is almost envious. However, when it comes to her character, we can’t exactly say the same. In the previous installation of the Yellowstone series, Liz and her husband Jack just about survive a massacre that took out both of their fathers.

Yet, Liz and Jack harbour a beautiful love story – layered within a depth of history. Viewers across the globe are just as invested as us, so much so that 1923 has been renewed for a new season. With even more space and time for Randolph’s first ever television role to blossom, we sat down to chat with the actress in between takes.

Head below to watch the trailer for “1923”…

Head below to read our interview…

Hi Michelle, how are you doing?
I’m great, thank you!

Congrats on your role as Liz Strafford in 1923! Can you tell us more about your character?
Elizabeth’s family own the ranch next to The Yellowstone. She went to school on the East Coast and spent her summers in Montana, which is where she fell in love with Jack Dutton, to whom she is now getting married. We meet her at a crossroads, where in just a short time she is forced to postpone her wedding and essentially loses both her parents. This forces her to quickly say goodbye to the sheltered life she has known, as she chooses the tumultuous lifestyle that indisputably follows the Dutton family.

Were you a fan of the Yellowstone story before?
I had not watched Yellowstone, but I had watched 1883. I loved it. My dad, however, has been a huge Yellowstone fan and I swear for years he’d ask me almost every time I saw him if I had watched the show yet. When I heard 1923 was coming out I was looking forward to watching it, and when I received the audition, my excitement only grew.

How did you prepare for the role and what was it like working with such amazing co-stars?
My great great grandmother went to boarding school on the East Coast while her dad was a rancher in California, so I got to dig into my family’s history a little bit in search of a connection to Elizabeth’s character. That was a lot of fun. Also, being on location in Montana and spending a lot of time with everyone at cowboy camp before filming was a huge helpful factor. Cowboy Camp was every day all day for several weeks so by the time we started filming we were already bonded to each other and the show. We formed the type of closeness that you do when you’re a kid and you go to summer camp.

What was it like filming on location in Montana and how did the setting influence your performance?
We shot in mostly in Butte, Montana. The landscape and the locations we used felt frozen in time. The really special thing about a period piece is you are able to disconnect from yourself and fully immerse into the story because you are surrounded by such a realistic set. Our immensely talented production design team made the world feel so believable. Some of the days we shot in town and the entire city block was transformed – all the storefronts, 20 vintage cars driving around, horses, 100+ extras all in wardrobe…I kept pinching myself.

What can audiences expect from 1923 and what message do you hope the show will convey?
Well Taylor Sheridan’s writing will definitely entertain them. When I received the first few scripts, I could not put them down, and was dying to know how the story would progress. Also, who couldn’t help but be amazed by the seasoned cast that anchors the show!? There are several different storylines, so the viewer has many opportunities to connect with the characters. Some heavy parts of the show highlight the injustices that were done to indigenous communities across Turtle Island and beyond. So aside from it being an entertaining show, it also opens space for much-needed, thought-provoking conversations.

Can you tell us any secrets from set?
Mm, they wouldn’t be secrets anymore if I told you 😉

What inspired you to start your charity organisation House Cat and how has it evolved since its launch?
I am a cat lady. I’ve had cats my whole life and fostered for many years. Shelters are overflowing with animals that need homes, and I think when people are searching for a pet, rescuing should be their intention. I am very passionate about this so I tend to ramble on about this topic.. but basically, I started House Cat to channel some of that passion into something productive. With my schedule, House Cat gives me a way to support these organisations and their causes even when I am not home. It’s impossible to ignore the amount of financial and physical help rescues/shelters need. My dear friend, Chandler Bailey (who founded it with me), and I, have many plans as it grows.

Can you share some of the animal rescue organisations that House Cat has supported and how you choose which organisations to work with?
We get a lot of suggestions from people who follow the charity. We pick a different rescue to support each time we release new products. It’s always hard to choose, but we have a long list and hope to eventually get to them all. We’ve donated to local rescues as well as places like Milo’s Sanctuary, which rescue disabled and terminally ill cats. We also have supported organisations internationally like Angels of Life Village for Stray Animals in Adana, Turkey, and Shelter Friend in Ukraine.

How do you balance your acting career with running a charity organisation – you must never sit still!
I am very passionate about the things I give my time to, so even though it keeps my schedule a little crazy, I love every second of it!

What has been the highlight of your acting career so far?
Absolutely 1923, in every way possible. I had the chance to work alongside people who I so strongly look up to and admire. Spending time in Montana, being with my cast-mates, just having the chance to disconnect from my day-to-day life, was a really special experience.

Is there anyone you’d particularly love to work with?
Helen Mirren was at the very top of my list. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to learn from her each day. It should feel intimidating to work with somebody like Helen, and yet she made me feel so comfortable.. She brought a lightness to set each day. I think that is part of her gift. I find myself so attached to certain films and characters, and there are quite a few people whose work has moved me…Greta Gerwig and Joe Wright…Carey Mulligan, Octavia Spencer, Reece Witherspoon (and everything Hello Sunshine does). Daisy Edgar-Jones and Lily James inspire me! I could go on and on!

Lastly, what’s next for you?
Nothing I can talk about quite yet, but I am very excited about what is to come and all the beautiful stories that get to be told.


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