LaMonica Garrett talks to Entertainment Weekly about how he landed the role of Thomas in the Yellowstone prequel 1883.
LaMonica Garrett is impressing fans with his portrayal of Thomas in the Paramount+ series 1883. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he talks about moving from his role on Amazon’s The Terminal List, to playing Thomas on the Yellowstone spinoff. The audition process happened really quickly.
“Me and Isabel May [Elsa Dutton] have the same manager,” he begins. “My manager told Taylor, ‘You don’t know it, but I have Thomas already.’ I’m sure Taylor’s heard that from dozens of managers, of course. A handful of my buddies were talking about the project because it was huge.”
Once Garrett sent in his audition tape, Taylor Sheridan called the actor to talk about the role.
“Taylor called me and gave a little backstory. He wanted me to do another tape, another audition. So he gave me more backstory on Thomas, and I hired a dialect coach for the audition. When I found out I got it, three or four days later, after finishing up The Terminal List for Amazon, I was on a plane to Fort Worth, Texas, to start cowboy camp.”
The rest is history!
“1883” Cowboy Camp
The cast of 1883 keeps referring to their “cowboy camp” in interviews. Fans are wondering what they are even talking about!
Before filming the show, the entire cast took a training course on how to work successfully on set. They were taught how to ride horses, handle prop guns safely, and to herd cattle. The cast also learned how to act in their elaborate costumes amidst dust storms and high temperatures.
Eric Nelsen says that the experience helped him inhabit his first Old West role.
“It’s my first Western. And [it] couldn’t have been a better first experience than 1883… I’m fully immersed, I’m completely in love with the culture and the people, the way of life and the history behind it really. It’s been a dream come true.”
Isabel May says that she learned a lot from cowboy camp as well.
“It was really fun, you just ride horses all day and herd cattle,” she says. “It was a little intimidating at first because the people who work there, they’re remarkable horseback riders. They’re legit.”
Learning how to ride horses on period saddles was very uncomfortable. May and Faith Hill say it felt like they were sitting on cement.
“So we started out with just the western saddle. And then they moved us into the period saddle from 1883, and wow. Huge difference,” Faith Hill recalls.
It looks like all of their hard work and preparation paid off. 1883 is a period piece that stays true to its time.