‘1883’: Here’s Who Sam Elliott Is Playing on the ‘Yellowstone’ Spinoff

by Suzanne Halliburton

Huge news from the 1883 sequel front. Sam Elliott, the most iconic of cowboys, is joining the cast.

As Yellowstone fans know, 1883 is the prequel to the series, which stars Kevin Costner as the patriarch of a family that lives in Montana and owns the largest ranch in the country. It’s a sweeping western drama, but very present day.

On Wednesday, news broke that Elliott, along with country superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are starring in 1883.

The prequel 1883 has been in the works for months. Yellowstone director and writer Taylor Sheridan also is behind 1883. It’s part of a five-year deal Sheridan signed with ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment Group. He’s creating several shows that will go straight to Paramount+, CBS’ revamped streaming service. The service already has its own shows like The Good Fight. And it also is taking network shows like Evil and SEAL Team and showing them on Paramount+.

Who Will Sam Elliott Play in 1883?

So who will Sam Elliott play? According to TVLine, Elliott’s character is Shea Brennan, described as “a tough-as-nails, handsome cowboy with immense sadness in his past.”

According to 1883, he will have “the herculean task of guiding a group from Texas to Montana, and he does not suffer fools.” McGraw and Hill will portray the original Duttons, James and Margaret, who are seeking to renew their lives in Montana.

In a statement to the media, Elliott lauded Sheridan.

“It all starts with the writing, and Taylor Sheridan is a brilliant writer,” Elliott said. “I think the western genre speaks clearly to both of us. The classic struggles of man against man, man against nature, and man against himself. It’s all there, in 1883, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Elliott’s Hollywood career is all about playing cowboys, whether they’re modern day or rode the range in the 1800s. He’s often said he considers himself a Texan, although he was born in California and grew up in Oregon. Both his parents were Texans and can trace their roots there to the fight for Texas Independence in 1836. So Elliott definitely has the authenticity to play a cowboy in 1883 who is leading a a group of gritty pioneers from Texas to Montana.

Elliott’s dad never wanted him to go into acting.

“My father once said, ‘You haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell in Hollywood,’” Elliott told AARP. “I think he’d be proud that his kid became the actor I did.”

We’re guessing Elliott’s dad would like 1883.

Elliott’s best, most recent role was in A Star Is Born. He played the older brother of Jackson Maine, portrayed by Bradley Cooper. And coincidentally, Cooper modeled his character’s gravelly voice after Elliott’s. This was before Cooper even spoke to Elliott about being in the movie.

We’re also guessing Elliott, his mustache and velvet voice will be perfect for 1883.