‘1883’ Star Faith Hill Says She Nearly Also Took Role of Mary Poppins on Broadway

by Chris Haney

During a recent podcast interview, country music icon Faith Hill opened up about the hit show 1883 as she recalled her other acting roles from the past as well. Hill is one of the stars of Paramount’s Yellowstone spinoff alongside husband Tim McGraw. Over the years, McGraw has earned numerous starring roles in Hollywood. In contrast, 1883 is Faith Hill’s first portrayal of a major character in a show or movie. However, years ago, Hill nearly performed on Broadway as the title role in Mary Poppins, which she opened up about on the podcast.

Hill joined the Just for Variety podcast earlier this week to talk about her life and acting career. McGraw and Hill co-star as James and Margaret Dutton, the ancestors of Yellowstone‘s John Dutton (Kevin Costner). Yet previous to her landing the 1883 gig, Faith Hill didn’t have great luck with other roles.

In the interview, the country singer shared how she struggled at auditions for years. Hill landed supporting roles in 2004’s Stepford Wives and 2017’s Dixieland. But that’s about the extent of her Hollywood credits previous to the Yellowstone prequel. Yet Hill did land the lead role for a play on Broadway, which she would’ve loved to perform. Unfortunately, it didn’t work with her schedule and she had to turn it down at the time.

“Everyone calls me Mary Poppins. My kids do because, honey, when I go traveling, I got that bag and I pull stuff out and I go, ‘Shoot, I didn’t realize that bag held so much,'” Hill said. “I pack for the apocalypse when we’re traveling, when we’re road tripping. But that’s not why I wanted to do Mary Poppins. It’s a great story. It just wasn’t the right time.”

‘1883’ Star Faith Hill Opens Up About Getting Rejected for Roles

While Faith Hill is finally getting to show what she can bring to a film set on 1883, she went through plenty of rejection in previous years. Just because Hill is a famous country singer didn’t mean she got to skip the audition process like other more seasoned actors.

While speaking on the podcast, Hill shared a story about feeling rejection after one audition. Yet the story had an encouraging end to it, which isn’t always the case in Hollywood. Two decades ago, Hill auditioned for director Anthony Minghella who was getting ready to film 2003’s Cold Mountain. She auditioned for the role of Sara, who actress Natalie Portman would eventually portray.

When going up for roles against veteran actors like Portman and others, Hill knew she had to practice her craft. The singer prepped for the audition thoroughly and did her homework. But the scenes she read during the audition were beyond her skillset at the time.

“I read, I believe, the rape scene and another one. It was intense,” 1883 star Faith Hill said on the podcast. “I had been on a few readings, but nothing like that.”

“I worked my tail off to be prepared for that,” she added. “Because for me, personally, I thought I have got to prove myself… This is serious work. It is a craft that needs to be respected.”

Of course, Hill didn’t get the part and felt the rejection like anyone else would. But she received an incredibly encouraging letter from the Cold Mountain director after the audition. That letter is one of the reasons she pressed on and didn’t give up on her acting dreams.

“He sent me the most incredible letter after the reading,” Hill revealed. “It was almost three pages long, handwritten.”