1923's James Badge Dale on How 1883's John Is Now a Dad With 'Baggage' in New Yellowstone Prequel

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Warning: This video contains spoilers from 1923‘s premiere.

Even on the skewed spectrum of Dutton childhoods, James and Margaret’s little boy, John, had it rough.

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1883 viewers will remember the character as the little boy who tagged along as his parents and older sister set out on the Oregon Trail in Yellowstone‘s first prequel. On that fateful trip, he experienced  disease, violence and the death of his sibling, Elsa. Flashbacks in Yellowstone — as well as a voiceover in 1923‘s premiere episode — informed us that John later lived through hunger and the death of both parents before his uncle, Jacob, arrived to take John and younger brother Spencer under his care. (Go here for a full recap of the premiere.)

So when TVLine chatted with Hightown alum James Badge Dale, who plays John as an adult in Paramount+’s new series, we wondered how that traumatic upbringing might affect his character’s outlook on fatherhood.

In the video above, Dale admits that he gets “a little emotional” as he thinks about John’s relationship with son Jack. “I think we all carry a lot of baggage in our lives, and I think we all can relate to a rough upbringing and overcoming some challenges,” he says.

And the fact that Jack seems, at least in the premiere, like a well-adjusted, happy guy? “I think we did OK as parents,” Dale says, smiling at co-star Marley Shelton (Scream), who plays John’s wife, Emma. “I think we did OK.”

Press PLAY on the video above to hear Dale and Shelton discuss their fictional family, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

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