A lot of focus has been placed on the “cowboy camp” preparations Taylor Sheridan puts his actors through to prepare for their Yellowstone franchise roles. It’s fascinating (and necessary for the story 1883 is telling) to be sure. But almost too much focus has been placed on Faith Hill and Isabel May’s “rigorous” training for their roles. This is – you guessed it – because society still assumes women don’t do dirt and horses in 2021. Which is, of course, completely false.
Riding 19th-century style saddles and learning to drive wagons is paramount to 1883‘s journey, true. But at the heart of their journey lies familial bonds that ring as authentic as their surroundings. And this, as May and Hill tell me, came easier than anything else.
“I don’t think we had to do anything because I immediately fell in love with her,” Isabel May gushes of her on-screen mother, Faith Hill. “She’s just the loveliest human being. I mean genuinely, I was taken aback, really,” she smiles wide at her co-star.
“Not that I had any expectations,” May clarifies. “But yeah, she’s such a unique, lovely woman. I’m having a lot of fun with you,” she smiles at Hill.
“Yeah, we’re still working!” Faith Hill chimes in after telling May how sweet she is. “We’re still in the midst of it.”
Faith Hill on Isabel May: ‘We Cover a Lot of Ground Together’ in ‘1883’
Of their on-screen relationship, which unfolds beautifully in the premiere episodes of 1883, she feels the very same, too. “It was such a natural thing for us. The bonding came naturally,” Hill gestures to May.
Through it all – and considering all their Margaret and Elsa go through on their perilous journey – “We’ve had some pretty serious conversations,” Hill laughs. We won’t spoil any of the intense, tragic, and shocking moments these two share here. But it goes without saying that these two have had plenty to bond over on-set.
Both characters see tremendous growth while roughing the West, Hill continues, and the duo was able to bond quickly through relating their 1883 trials to their own personal experiences. With this, the pair agree that their Dutton mother-daughter relationship “came as naturally” as any they’ve ever had on-screen.
“In the first episode, which is a great episode by the way, we cover a lot of ground together. And it’s been fun. I cannot wait to see how the rest unfolds for us. To unpeel that onion,” Hill laughs. “Or maybe not an onion. That’s kind of gross this early in the morning.”
To this, Hill and May let out an identical giggle that absolutely seals everything they’ve said. These two were meant for their 1883 roles. And together they’re crafting one of the most sincere relationships on television.