For married couple Hanks & Wilson, both their 1883 cameos were publicized and highly anticipated beforehand. Fans knew to expect their presence in Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone prequel. Paramount’s aimed tp build hype as their Sam Elliott-led Western barreled on. And it worked.
1883‘s latest cameo, however, came right out of the blue. It’s a closely-guarded secret. So much so, in fact, that there’s not even a single press image to share of the actor in character.
SPOILER: ‘1883’s Latest Cameo is Completely Unexpected
In a shocking cameo, Sheridan appears from over the horizon as a rough rider and old acquaintance of Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott), Charlie. Sporting a thick black beard, wide brim hat, thick western scarf and a wool blazer, Sheridan’s Charlie appears in the nick of time to fend off bandits.
Charlie is presented as the cowboy to end all cowboys. Shea, Thomas (LaMonica Garrett), and James Dutton (Tim McGraw) all look up to him upon his horse in awe. It may feel a bit self-serving to have Sheridan insert himself in such a role, but the man is as true a modern cowboy himself as they come. Every skill he asks his actors to gain through his now-famous ‘Cowboy Camp’ preparations (which performers undergo for both Yellowstone and 1883) is one he’s mastered himself.
As such, Taylor Sheridan fits the bill as this instantly legendary-feeling character. Pulling every bit of his own baritone voice to the surface, the Yellowstone creator imbues Charlie with quite the presence.
“I swear, Shea. When you bite off more than you can chew, you sure bite big,” Charlie tells Shea from atop his horse.
“You are a beautiful sight, Charlie,” Shea replies. “What the hell are you doin’ out here?”
“Same as you, apparently. Hunting bandits and strays. Though you seem to herd all your bandits up at once.”
“Well we sure thank you,” James adds.
“Killin’ cattle thieves is one of the West’s five great pleasures,” Charlie nods.
Yes, That’s ‘Yellowstone’s Same Travis Wheatley Underneath All That Beard
As Charlie speaks, Sheridan’s chiseled face is hidden underneath 1883‘s effective prosthetic beard and moustache. The thick black hairs muffle his baritone, giving the cowboy a voice as gruff as he looks.
And when he appears, Yellowstone fans will surely be asking themselves: Is this Charlie an ancestor of Sheridan’s Yellowstone character, Travis Wheatley?
Indeed, viewers who also keep up with Yellowstone proper know this isn’t the first time Sheridan’s on-screen in his Yellowstone universe. He’s been a part of his flagship show since Season 1 as horsemaster Travis Wheatley, a Texas-based cowboy, showman, and breeder.
We last saw Travis in Season 4 of Yellowstone. Within, he took on a much larger role as he brought a new revenue stream to John Dutton (Kevin Costner), show horses. As he did, he shepherded Jimmy’s (Jefferson White) journey to the Lone Star State, setting up the second Yellowstone spinoff: 6666.
1883‘s use of the same actor wouldn’t be the first time a series has done so to portray an ancestor. And as Episode 7 shows us, Sheridan’s Charlie looks to be joining up with Shea and the Duttons’ wagon camp. While the brilliant Western rolls on, perhaps we’ll find something that connects him to Yellowstone and Sheridan’s Travis; a man with connections as deep to Texas’ 6666 ranch as Sheridan himself.