Why ‘1883’ Star Isabel May Didn’t Go To Set When Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Hanks Were There

by Quentin Blount
1883-isabel-may-didnt-go-set-billy-bob-thornton-tom-hanks-there

1883 star Isabel May takes her acting role seriously — so seriously, in fact, that she didn’t show up when two legends in the industry were on set.

While Isabel May stars in the show alongside other big names like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Sam Elliott, it turns out that two Oscar-winning actors also make cameos. Billy Bob Thornton stars in Episode 1 titled, “1883” while Tom Hanks is a guest star in Episode 2, “Behind Us, a Cliff.”

It goes without saying that everyone involved on the set of 1883 was excited to have the two men on the set. As for Isabel May, her character wasn’t involved in any scene with Thornton or Hanks. When asked if she went out of her way to show up on those days anyway, her answer may surprise you.

“I would lie and say yes, but I refuse to lie,” May told The Hollywood Reporter. “So I’m going to be honest and say no.”

That’s right — the Elsa Dutton actress said she didn’t watch Thornton or Hanks when it was their time to get behind the camera. But she has a good reason as to why she didn’t want to.

“I know, I know, I’m terrible,” May said with a laugh. “But I have this weird thing where if my character is not in it, I don’t want to be there. I know that sounds sad, but for some reason, there’s just something that takes me out of it.”

Isabel May Treats Her ‘1883’ Role Like Real Life

Come to think of it, that’s not an entirely bad mindset to have as an actor or actress. When May is on set, she wants to completely embody her character and she doesn’t want anything to ruin her immersion.

“I want to pretend that it’s real life, so much so that it’s difficult for some reason. I can’t explain it, but I just can’t participate unless Elsa is actively there. I’m also very much a loner, so when I had time to myself, I soaked in it and treasured that time.”

In the end, however, the young actress was still able to meet both of the legends on set.

“I did get to meet Billy Bob and Tom very briefly, and they’re both lovely people,” she said. “I just wanted to see their performances on screen and not watch them behind a monitor.”

With that said, one doesn’t get too many chances to see greats like Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Hanks going about their business first hand. It’s something that May says she does feel a little bit of regret toward.

“It was probably a giant mistake that I sort of regret deep down,” she admitted. “I’m a little pissed at myself. But in the moment, you make decisions that you regret, and I can’t turn back the wheel of time.”

Looking for more 1883 content? Keep reading right here on Outsider.

Outsider.com