‘1883’: Isabel May’s Biggest Roles Before Playing Elsa Dutton

by Liz Holland
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Many know 21 year old actress Isabel May for her role as Elsa Dutton on “1883.” However, she’s been in the acting game for years. The Santa Monica born starlet has accomplished a ton in the past four years, and we’re taking a look back at her biggest roles before landing her part as the Dutton family daughter. 

In 2018, Isabel May landed her first professional on-screen role as Katie in the Netflix series “Alexa & Katie.” The series follows the two girls as they face the typical challenges of teenagehood and high school. However, Alexa has a pretty significant challenge as she undergoes cancer treatment at the same time. 

May played Katie, who was Alexa’s best friend and stuck by her side through everything. The role certainly put May on the radar as an up and coming actress as she continued to book gigs. 

After “Alexa & Katie,” Isabel May played roles in “Young Sheldon,” “Run Hide Fight,” and “Let’s Scare Julia to Death.” In 2021, she took on her role as Elsa Dutton in “1883” alongside Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. “1883” is certainly one of her biggest roles to date as the show’s main protagonist and narrator. However, it was May’s previous experience as a leading lady that primed her for the Taylor Sheridan show.

Isabel May Has More Projects Coming in 2022

Additionally, the actress is continuing to sign on to new projects in 2022. She’s already confirmed for a new Amazon film, “I Want You Back,” and a film, “The Moon & Back.” It seems that work certainly isn’t slowing down for the actress anytime soon. 

Acting wasn’t always May’s dream career. The 21-year-old shared in a 2020 interview that she was a quiet kid who meant most of her time reading. When one of her middle school teachers suggested she try acting to help her break out of her shell, she decided to give it a go.  

“All I did was read, I wasn’t very socially active, and I loved to write,” May said in the interview. “My sixth grade English teacher told my parents that I should branch out a little bit in the arts and try a little harder to … interact with other people.”

Where it All Began For the Young Actress

She tried theater and wasn’t a huge fan. However, she did take a liking to film and television. Before long, she was auditioning for shows. “I can’t really remember how it happened… but that’s what pushed me in that direction,” she shared. 

May and her parents agreed that she needed to focus on being a student until she was at least sixteen before committing to anything serious in the entertainment industry. When she finally did turn 16, she shifted into online school and began auditioning for roles more often. Sure enough, she landed her first role in “Alexa & Katie” 6 months later. 

As May continues to see success, she prioritizes keeping her life private and out of the public eye. “I’m a homebody, what can I say?,” May said in an interview with Bello. Getting to work in this industry and then race back home to a good book is my cloud-nine.”

We can’t wait to see what Isabel May does next! Catch her in “1883” available now on Paramount+.

Outsider.com