‘1883’ Star Isabel May Details Her Lack of Outdoors Experience Before the Show

by Thad Mitchell
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As many “Yellowstone” fans predicted, Taylor Sheridan’s latest offering “1883” has turned into a raging success.

Fans are digging the old west theme that comes with “1883” and the show has become another hit for Paramount. The scenery, storylines, and western authenticity are on point with the show and we’d expect nothing less from Sheridan. Another big reason for the show’s success is the terrific cast. Country music power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are spectacular in the lead roles of James and Margaret Dutton. Sam Elliott appears tailor-made for his role as Shea and LaMonica Garrett shines as Thomas. Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Hanks add a huge amount of star power to the wonderful cast. But perhaps the “1883” breakout star is Isabel May, who plays fan-favorite Elsa Dutton on the series.

Like other actors on both “1883” and “Yellowstone,” May had a lack of outdoors and western culture experience. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, May admits that she has never even been atop a horse before filming for the show began. May, along with other “1883” cast members, were through Sheridan’s now-famous “cowboy school” to learn the ways of the cowboy. In the interview, the actress says she has a newfound love for the great outdoors.

“All new to me,” she says. “I’d never ridden a horse before. I was born and raised in Los Angeles; I’ve spent most of my life in big cities like New York City and Los Angeles. So I didn’t have much experience with the outdoors, but I have a newfound love and appreciation for the open space, solitude and as few people as possible. So I’m actively seeking it out now.”

May’s hard work paid off as she appears natural atop a horse in “1883.”

‘1883’ Star Isabel May Talks About Horse Riding Training

It is easy to tell that Isabel May really took to western culture and horse riding in the wide-open countryside. She talks about what went into her training efforts before “1883” filming began.

“I had the summer,” she says. “I didn’t get to do it every day or every week, necessarily, but I would drive out to Agua Dulce in Northern California and ride with a woman named Deidre, who is actually the wife of our stunt coordinator [Jason Rodriguez]. I’m now a member of their family by the way. So I rode with her as much as I possibly could, and then Taylor brought me out to do his infamous “Cowboy Camp,” which consisted of riding with wranglers all day, basically being spoiled rotten and sweating like crazy. But waking up at 7 a.m. every day and riding through this beautiful countryside was fun and another daydream. So I did have time. I didn’t have an excessive amount of time, but I did have time to prepare.”

“1883” fans are glad she did as May has been extraordinary as Elsa Dutton.

Outsider.com