‘1883’: Isabel May Remembers ‘Cowboy Camp’ Before Filming Series

by Leanne Stahulak

As someone who spent a lot of time on horseback in “1883,” star Isabel May had to attend “Cowboy Camp” to learn about horsemanship.

May opened up about her time filming the Taylor Sheridan show earlier this week. She spoke to Fox 5 Washington DC, discussing not only her co-stars and filming experience but also preparing for the filming itself. And since Sheridan wrote Elsa Dutton on horseback quite a bit, she quickly learned how to properly ride a horse at Cowboy Camp.

“That consisted of riding horses all day with the most, just loveliest wranglers you could possibly imagine,” May explained. “They were just wonderful. And they are who I look to, to really observe and try to steal all of their little tricks. I just wanted to imitate them to a degree.”

May said the “1883” cast was “spoiled rotten” by the wranglers and horse trainers who worked with them. Likely because the wranglers answered all of their questions with no hesitation. May didn’t give a specific reason. But she did say that she “absolutely” has a newfound appreciation for what real-life cowboys do.

“They offered morning rides herding cattle. It’s not as easy as it looks,” May shared. “But it was extremely fun. What an incredible experience.”

This isn’t the first time the “1883” star has opened up about her Cowboy Camp experience. May also spoke to Jefferson White on the official “Yellowstone” podcast about watching Taylor Sheridan ride at Cowboy Camp.

“I remember just the first day of Cowboy Camp and seeing him haul ass around,” May said. “And he’s an intimidating figure. But I just think he’s so much fun. And God, I’m so lucky – that’s all I can think about.”

Sheridan is also lucky that he found such an incredible actress in May.

Taylor Sheridan Talks Finding Isabel May for ‘1883’

Earlier this year, “Yellowstone” and “1883” creator Taylor Sheridan shared how he found Isabel May for the prequel series.

“I called Paramount and said, ‘I got good news, and then, I got some you need to trust me news,'” Sheridan explained. “At this point, I had not figured out how to tell this story. I had Sam Elliott over here and I had Tim McGraw here and Faith Hill and I had not found the bridge between them all. When I met Isabel, the whole story, all 10 episodes, went right through my head.”

Coincidentally, May told Fox earlier this week that Sheridan found her at the “Mayor of Kingstown” audition. The role she auditioned for didn’t quite fit her well, but Sheridan quickly discovered another role for her in “1883.” In essence, he wrote Elsa Dutton around May.

“I actually auditioned for a different project that he has called ‘Mayor of Kingstown,’” May explained. “And I was not right for the role. But I suppose that he just saw something in me that was Elsa Dutton. [He] brought me onto the project before he’d written it, which was a very odd and surreal experience.”

We can’t wait to see May as Elsa again in this week’s new episode of “1883.”