'Horizon: An American Saga's' Sienna Miller, Abbey Lee, Ella Hunt, and Isabelle Fuhrmann Gained New Perspective on Being A Woman On The Oregon Trail

 Sienna Miller Horizon American Saga movie 

Kevin Costner's 4-part HORIZON: AN AMERICAN SAGA explores the Old West and the settlers who made the dangerous trek across the Oregon Trail for a new life. HORIZON: AN AMERICAN SAGA stars Sienna Miller (G.I. JOE: RISE OF COBRA), Abbey Lee (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD), Isabelle Fuhrman (ORPHAN), and Ella Hunt (Dickinson) gained a new perspective of women from the period and shared what they learned of their experience playing these women on the trail.

The promise of free land lured many Americans to the American West during the 1900s. Costner's HORIZON: AMERICAN SAGA spans four years during the Civil War, focusing on various characters in different settings. The film stars Costner, Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington (AVATAR), Michael Rooker, Jena Malone, Tom Payne (The Walking Dead), Danny Huston, Luke Wilson, Jamie Campbell Bower (Stranger Things), Will Patton, Abbey Lee, Isabelle Fuhrman, Ella Hunt, Owen Crow Shoe and Tatanka Means.

The lure of the Old West has typically been depicted through the eyes of men, but Costner's cinematic adventure brings the woman's perspective to the forefront. Sienna Miller plays a widowed woman who must fend for herself and her young daughter.

"Well I think that I don't think anyone anticipated quite how dangerous it would be," says Miller. "I don't think they really knew what they were getting into, and obviously once you set out on that journey, and you finally arrive, months and months of traveling with children and livestock, there's no turning back. And I think it was unforgiving terrain. There's dry and hot, and I have immense respect for anybody who manages to do that."

Abbey Lee Horizon American Saga movie

Abbey Lee portrays Marigold, a single woman in the Old West, and describes women's limited choices.

"And also being a woman at that time. I mean, I was playing a character who was essentially forced into prostitution because if you weren't married to a man, in other words, if you weren't owned by a man, then you had no rights," says Lee. "You had no freedom. You had no opportunity to be independent, to have dreams, and so I was playing this character who was bursting with desire and vigor and passion. And she was not at a time where you were even allowed that. That was not a freedom that women were given. So to be able to play these character [sic] where, like, your dreams are crushed, even physically. Even being in a corset where you, like, can't breathe or move properly, it creates this feeling of, like, your entrapment and frustrated. And so I really feel for women of that time. There must have been so many women that felt like that. Just trapped.

Tom Payne Ella Hunt Horizon American Saga movie

Ella Hunt's character brings another viewpoint to the mix as a married woman traveling with a group of settlers on the Oregon Trail.

"But what you speaking about just a second ago about having compassion for these people making these journeys, Isabelle and I both read the diaries of women on the Oregon Trail," says Hunt. "They are out there to read. They're on Google. They're amazing. And just these journeys that these people were embarking upon and the things that women had to deal with. I mean, oftentimes, women were giving birth on the trail. They were dealing with small children getting lost. They were having to feed their families, and often, like, Abbey was saying, they weren't making these journey with any autonomy. They were making these journeys because their husbands were traveling on a dream."

Isabelle Fuhrman also chimes in about women's powerlessness in that period.

"We like to think, and Kevin's spoken about this a lot, that it was a simpler time, but the decisions people were making on a day-to-day basis were, you know, even just something as simple as where you're gonna find water next, and whether or not you're going the right direction, or if the person that is telling you you're going the wrong way is lying to you or not," Fuhrmann adds. I mean, it really was a time where every, single decision you made, you didn't know if it was going to affect everyone around you. And that you start to see in movie one obviously, but it continues on throughout the saga."

Chapter one of HORIZON AN AMERICAN SAGA is now playing in movie theaters. Chapter 2 arrives in theaters next month on August 16.

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