HomeEntertainmentTVYellowstone‘1883’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Explains Why Cowboy Camp Is Important To His Shows

‘1883’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Explains Why Cowboy Camp Is Important To His Shows

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images)

The award-winning creator of the Yellowstone universe, Taylor Sheridan, has gone on record more than once to discuss the importance of authenticity when it comes to his shows. Sheridan is such a perfectionist, in fact, that he warned his cast and crew before the production of Yellowstone prequel 1883 that they would hate him by the end. And on top of filming in the bitter Montana cold and scorching Texas heat, Taylor Sheridan required each cast member to attend cowboy camp before production of 1883 began.

In a recent Paramount+ exclusive, Sheridan discussed his thought process behind the cowboy camp requirement. “I don’t rehearse with my actors,” Sheridan says. “There’s no way for me to inform them what this way of life is, you just have to do it. I just take them out and put them to work.”

That might sound a bit intense, but for Taylor Sheridan, authenticity is an absolute must. “The purpose of cowboy camp is to get actors comfortable enough on the horses that they weren’t nervous when they were riding,” Sheridan begins. “The better I can make them as a rider, the more they understand the thing they’re acting out, the better the performance is, the more authentic the scenes look. [After cowboy camp], it looks real.”

‘1883’ Stars Discuss Cowboy Camp Requirement from Taylor Sheridan

You might think that a bunch of actors being asked to attend cowboy camp wouldn’t go over well. On the contrary, however, the stars of 1883 remember the experience with nothing but fondness. “Cowboy camp was probably the most helpful thing in the world,” says 1883 star Tim McGraw. “We all got to spend a couple of weeks together, just riding horses and roping and herding cattle.”

Even little Audie Rick, the young actor behind John Dutton, went to camp with the rest of the cast. The six-year-old star learned how to ride a horse and throw a lasso.

Despite the actors’ enjoyment, Taylor Sheridan knew that cowboy camp was a big ask. But the dedicated director never asked his cast to do anything he refused to do himself. “Here comes Taylor walking up like…he’s the first one out there,” recalls LaMonica Garrett. “He’ll never ask you to do anything that he doesn’t do as far as being on a horse, climbing up rocks, going through lakes and rivers, steering cattle.”