‘1883’ Star Eric Nelsen Says Role on Show Has Leveled Up His ‘Cowboy’ Game

by Jacklyn Krol

Eric Nelsen credits the 1883 “Cowboy Camp” for leveling up his game.

Nelsen portrays the character of cowboy Ennis in the Yellowstone prequel. Despite growing up around horses and knowing how to ride, he still had a lot to learn. He spoke to People about how the Cowboy Camp helped him learn about cowboy culture along with the lifestyle.

“My parents are big into horses,” Nelsen explained. “My dad was a horse trainer most of his life and my mom rode and showed horses, so it was very much a part of my culture in my life.”

He had no idea that he was capable of riding horses to such an extreme.

“I had never ridden at the capacity and the intensity that I have on this show,” he added. “So I think it brought my level of cowboy from five to about a 20.”

During the camp, he also picked up other trades, including roping.

“I had never roped before, so all of that was a new side of it for me,” he continued. “It was exciting to learn and I had always wanted to,” he said. “Even still, I thought I had skills and I got there and [1883 creator Taylor Sheridan] told me what I didn’t have. There was still so much to learn. So I kind of just kept to myself and just learned from the best.”

How Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Joined the Cast of ‘1883’

It’s pretty remarkable that Tim McGraw and Faith Hill get to portray a married couple on the small screen and in real life. The couple portrays James and Margret Dutton.

“We were in bed last night and talked for two hours because we got so caught up in the moment that we almost couldn’t even remember it,” McGraw told Parade of 1883. “I told her, ‘This is incredible. How many married couples ever get a chance to do what we’re doing right now?”

So how exactly did they get involved? They first admired Taylor Sheridan for his creative works in the movie, Wind River.

“We were like, ‘Who the hell wrote and directed this? This is so good,’” Hill recalled. Sheridan wanted the famous couple to sign on since the beginning stages. It seems like the roles were meant to be!

“It begins with a song. If the song is right, then you don’t give it a second thought, because writing is a real craft that should be respected. We read the material and we were like, ‘How can we not do it?’” she added.

“What more could you ask for? We’re working together on our 25th anniversary on an incredible show with great people,” she concluded.

1883 premieres on December 19 on Paramount+. Be sure to catch up with Yellowstone on the streaming service.