Movie Reviews

Horizon: An American Saga's Sienna Miller & Sam Worthington Discuss Chapter 1 Of Kevin Costner's Western Epic


  • Kevin Costner returns to the directorial chair after over 35 years with
    Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1
  • Sienna Miller and Sam Worthington play important roles in Costner’s exploration of the American West expansion.
  • Miller found Costner’s take on American history intriguing, and Worthington discussed his character’s comparison to past Costner roles, with both also teasing what to expect their character arcs in future installments.

The American West was a dangerous place for even the most benevolent of people, as seen in Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1. The movie, which hails from Kevin Costner in his first directorial effort in over 20 years since 2003’s Open Range, is a four-part journey through the pre- and post-Civil War eras of the country, primarily exploring the creation of the fictional eponymous settlement and how it and the people were a part of the expansion into the American West.

Among the figures involved in Horizon: An American Saga‘s story are Sam Worthington’s Union Army First Lieutenant Trent Gephardt and Sienna Miller’s Frances Kittredge. Both are introduced in Chapter 1 of Costner’s sprawling Western epic, with Kittredge being one of the many settlers looking to build a new life for her and her family, only to run afoul of the Native Americans living in the territory. Gephardt, on the other hand, is a soldier all too familiar with the dangers of the region, though takes a liking to Kittredge as he and his company take her in following a brutal attack on the settlement.


Horizon: An American Saga Chapter 1 Review – Kevin Costner’s Impressive Epic Requires Patience

In this film, the score, landscapes, and set pieces guide the stories along when the dialogue is limited, helping us to connect emotionally.

Alongside Miller, Worthington, and Costner, the Horizon: An American Saga cast is made up of one of the largest ensembles in film, some of whom include Michael Rooker, Luke Wilson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Abbey Lee, Jamie Campbell Bower, Tatanka Means, Wasé Chief, Ella Hunt and Jena Malone. Developed over the course of nearly 40 years by Costner, the movie is a meticulously paced and broad exploration of the early days of the expansion of the American West.

Ahead of the movie’s release, Screen Rant interviewed stars Sienna Miller and Sam Worthington to discuss Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1, how their characters play into the themes of Costner’s saga, the dedication to practical filmmaking, and what to expect from their arcs in future installments.

Miller & Worthington Jumped At The Opportunity To Work With Costner

Sienna Miller holds a tea cup while contemplating in Horizon An American Saga Chapter 1

In reflecting on getting the opportunity to star in the film, both Miller and Worthington express their eagerness to work with Costner on any project, let alone his directorial return with Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1. Miller even went on to explain how his approach to American history “intrigued” her, while Worthington recalled how Costner likened the Avatar star’s character to some of Costner’s past roles:

Sienna Miller: I think just Kevin Costner calling and saying, “Will you come and do a Western with me?” was enough for me. I didn’t even need to read the scripts. Of course, I did. But actually growing up watching Dances with Wolves and really idolizing him as a movie star, and it just felt like an old-fashioned exploration of something that I was really intrigued by. America is the most powerful country in the world. “How did the America that we know today get formed?” To explore that was exciting.

Sam Worthington: If you look at the roles that Costner’s played, a lot of the characters have a very strong moral compass. Eliot Ness, Jim in JFK, his character in Thirteen Days, even The Bodyguard, he has a strict set of rules that he applies to himself. So, he told me that, first off, and said, “Your character is interested in this and this is how he sees the world, and then by doing that, we get to challenge all of that.” I thought that was unique. The way he directs is a lot like how he acts. He comes at it as a very strong creative in looking at it from the inside out, and I thought that’d be cool to work with someone like that.

When looking at getting the opportunity to play a character across multiple movies, Miller humorously notes she’s “never done a sequel“, instead comparing her Horizon experience to that of a limited series as she gets to “have that space to explore a life“:

Sienna Miller: I’ve never done a sequel, nothing I’ve ever made has got to number two. [Chuckles] But I’ve done limited series, and within that scope, you have that time to explore. Obviously, I’m a huge movie fan, I want to make films, and I want people to go to the cinemas and see them, so to have that space to explore a life — which really we do in this — for my character was really appealing.

Worthington Shares His Thoughts On The True Main Character Of Horizon: An American Saga

Sam Worthington looks on seriously in Horizon Chapter 1

With Costner reportedly looking to build a cast of upwards of 170 speaking roles in Horizon: An American Saga, the wide roster of characters seen in just Chapter 1 get a meaningful arc set up for future installments. With the expansive focus, though, Worthington ultimately feels there’s one true main character in the Western epic:

Sienna Miller: Well, first of all, to see a Western with women in it is great. Characters that have depth and are multifaceted. The first one is really laying the foundations for the characters that the next will explore, so we just kind of get deeper into into each person’s journey in number two.

Sam Worthington: It reminded me of movies like The Towering Inferno and The Great Escape, where it’s a lot of characters, and they’re all on their own separate journeys, and you’re not necessarily just following one path, one plot. It’s a journey movie, so it’s exciting, as the saga progresses, to see which characters drop out, which characters come in, which new characters appear. I think that’s an interesting kind of approach, it’s very novelistic.

Yeah, and the main character of this is a town. That’s what it is. And the story is about this town being built from a stake in the ground that upsets all these ants, all the way up to wherever it’s going to go in the future with steam trains, and saloons. We just happened to be the color, the characters that inform this main character. So, it’s interesting to see that evolution of each set getting bigger and bigger and bolder as it progresses.

Horizon‘s Dedication To Practical Filmmaking Made It “Easier” For Miller To Do Her Job

Sienna Miller as Frances Kittredge in Horizon: An American Saga

Staying true to his past with the Western genre, Costner delivers a “fully realized” world of the American West with Horizon: An American Saga‘s production, delivering an entirely practical set. For Miller, this made embracing her character and the world of the movie “easier“, going on to praise costume designer Lisa Lovaas for being “so forensic” in paying attention to the detail of the past:

Sienna Miller: When you step into a world that’s fully formed and fully realized — we weren’t on soundstages, everywhere you look, everything was perfectly in keeping with the period. And Lisa Lovaas, who did the costumes, is so forensic in terms of detail. Every single undergarment was original from that period of time, so the more honest people are about that side, the technical side of it, the easier it is to do your job. And also, people looked so beautiful, the costumes, the Native Americans, the makeup, the clothes. There are animals everywhere, they grew a crop field. It was really thoughtful and detailed, and that just adds to performance.

About Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1

Academy Award-winning visionary filmmaker Kevin Costner directs New Line Cinema’s epic Horizon: An American Saga Chapters I and II, a multi-faceted chronicle covering the Civil War expansion and settlement of the American West. A story of America too big for one film, this true cinematic event also stars Costner, who co-writes with Jon Baird (“The Explorers Guild”) and produces through his Territory Pictures.

In the great tradition of Warner Bros. Pictures’ iconic Westerns, Horizon: An American Saga explores the lure of the Old West and how it was won — and lost — through the blood, sweat and tears of many. Spanning the four years of the Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, Costner’s ambitious cinematic adventure will take audiences on an emotional journey across a country at war with itself, experienced through the lens of families, friends and foes all attempting to discover what it truly means to be the

United States of America.

Costner, Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington and Giovanni Ribisi star alongside an impressive ensemble cast that includes Abbey Lee, Will Patton, Jena Malone, Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson, Jeff Fahey, Isabelle Fuhrman, Ella Hunt, David O’Hara, Owen Crow Shoe, Tatanka Means, Tim Guinee, Scott Haze, Tom Payne, Alejandro Edda, James Russo, Jon Beavers, Jaime Campbell Bower, and Michael Anganaro, and more.

Check out our other Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1 interviews with:

  • Kevin Costner
  • Abbey Lee & Jamie Campbell Bower
  • Luke Wilson, Isabelle Fuhrman & Ella Hunt

Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1

hits theaters on Friday.

Source: Screen Rant Plus

Back to top button