‘1883’s Faith Hill & Isabel May Talk ‘Intimidating’ ‘Cowboy Camp’ Preparations

by Leanne Stahulak
Courtesy of Paramount Network.

Although Faith Hill and Isabel May don’t play cowboys per say in “1883,” they still had to learn the ropes.

May and Hill sat down for a roundtable discussion with Outsider earlier this week, dishing on the show and their roles in it. Hill and her husband, Tim McGraw, play James and Margaret Dutton, the ancestors of “Yellowstone” character John Dutton. May will play their daughter, Elsa Dutton. To do so, all three actors were neck-deep in Taylor Sheridan’s infamous “cowboy camp.”

“It was really fun, you just ride horses all day and herd cattle,” May explained during our roundtable discussion. “It was a little intimidating at first because the people who work there, they’re remarkable horseback riders. They’re legit.”

The young actor also learned a few hard cowboy lessons of her own. “The pain in your butt after the first five days is something else,” the “1883” star revealed. “But anyway, it was so fun.”

Faith Hill agreed that it was fun, but she also felt the pain of hours on horseback. “I learned after the first day that I would be wearing gloves for the remainder of the time for cowboy camp. Just with the reins,” Hill explained. Driving a wagon, too, was no walk in the park, she says.

But the biggest struggles for the “1883” stars came in the last week of cowboy camp.

‘1883’ Stars Faith Hill and Isabel May: ‘It was Like Sitting on Cement’

For the most part it sounds like “1883” stars Faith Hill and Isabel May had a blast at cowboy camp. But it wasn’t always such a breeze.

“And then remember the last week they moved us into the period saddles?” Hill asked May at one point during the conversation.

“Oh trust me, I remember that very well,” May replied with a laugh.

Hill explained, “So we started out with just the western saddle. And then they moved us into the period saddle from 1883, and wow. Huge difference.”

“It was like sitting on cement,” May added.

These incredible women had sore behinds from start to finish from the sound of things. But it makes sense. The 19th century was anything but easy for anyone, let alone women. And “1883” creator Taylor Sheridan is all about authenticity.

“Taylor is a stickler for authenticity,” co-star Tim McGraw emphasizes for Hollywood Reporter. “Even to the way you ride – he would come up and say, ‘You know, a cowboy wouldn’t have his feet in that position or wouldn’t have his hands in that position.’” He says, “I’m just trying to make you look good. Everybody rides a little differently, and it’s fine to ride a little differently but there are a few things you need to be authentic to and true to. And he’s always good about that. And down to the set design and the costumes,” McGraw adds.

Be sure you tune in to 1883’s premiere this Sunday, Dec. 19, on Paramount Plus to catch Hill and May alongside McGraw.