‘1883’ Star Eric Nelsen Said Tim McGraw’s James ‘Put the Fear of God’ in Him in Episode 3

by Shelby Scott
Photo Cr: Emerson Miller/Paramount+ © 2021 MTV Entertainment Studios. All Rights Reserved.

1883” aired its finale last month, but several before that, Tim McGraw shared an intense scene with fellow cast member Eric Nelsen. And the memory of that scene has the Ennis actor shaking in his boots, revealing the episode three moment that “put the fear of God” in him. Check out the clip below.

The captivating clip above navigates various characters and scenes from the “1883” episode, “River,” but we’re here to focus on Eric Nelsen and Tim McGraw’s intense interaction regarding the former’s courtship of Elsa.

“I got a little experience with dealing with boyfriends,” Tim McGraw joked during the behind-the-scenes video.

“Ennis’s intentions at this point are innocent and pure,” Eric Nelsen insisted. “All he wants to do is get this girl to like him as much as he likes her.”

However, on-screen, things were much more intense than that, especially during the “1883” scene that saw Eric Nelsen’s Ennis make an ill-timed joke about getting “handsy” with James Dutton’s (Tim McGraw’s) daughter Elsa.

“You break her heart, you get handsy, you and me are gonna have a problem,” James tells Ennis.

“Define ‘handsy'” the quick-witted cowboy replies, which is met with quite an intimidating stare.

“He puts that fear of God in me,” Nelsen admitted during the bit.

Well, as a dad of three daughters in real life, we’re sure Tim McGraw has more than enough experience putting the fear of God in young men.

Eric Nelsen Recalls His First Impression of Sam Elliott On ‘1883’ Set

Tim McGraw isn’t the only “1883” cast member that made a memorable impression on Eric Nelsen. In an earlier interview, the Ennis actor revealed the traits that made him admire Sam Elliott all the more.

“I was cautious coming into [‘1883’],” Nelsen shared, “kind of tiptoeing to get to know [Sam Elliott] a little bit at first. But I’m pretty sure the first day he…gave me the biggest hug and said, ‘Let’s do this, buddy. We’re going to nail it.'”

And nail it they did. The premiere of “1883” alone saw five million viewers.

Nelsen shared other instances that grew his respect for Sam Elliott as a person and an actor alike.

“One of our first days filming, we were in a restaurant in Granbury, Texas…at the top of the scene, an extra is supposed to come in, pour us water, and then leave the scene.”

Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite so smoothly.

Nelsen continued, “Well, she was so nervous because, of course, I’m at the table with Sam Eliott. And the first take, right out the gate, she’s shaking. And she spills the water all over the table, all over us.”

While sitting there, the Ennis actor thought, “Oh man, this isn’t good.” Surely he’s going to be upset.

Instead, though, the veteran actor reacted with kindness. Instead of getting upset, he walked over to where the extra was, gave her a hug to comfort her, and then after calming her down, Nelsen revealed she nailed the scene every time.

Of Sam Elliott, Nelsen shared, “And that just showed me, right away, the kind of man that he is.”