‘1883’: Sam Elliott Explains Why Working With LaMonica Garrett and Other Costars Is ‘Special’

by Caitlin Berard
Photo Cr: Emerson Miller/Paramount+ © 2022 MTV Entertainment Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The Yellowstone prequel, 1883, might be behind us, but the bonds created between the actors during the show’s all too short one-season run will last forever. One such bond is held by Sam Elliott and LaMonica Garrett, who play Shea and Thomas, respectively, in the hit western.

In a previous interview with Paramount+, LaMonica Garrett talked about Thomas’ relationship with Sam Elliot’s 1883 character, Shea, calling them “an 1800s Odd Couple.”

“Thomas’ story is not unfamiliar to a lot of Black cowboys back then,” Garrett said. “He’s a former slave. He’s a kind person, an honest person, and he’s a very loyal person. When he met Shea, he joined the war, he was a Buffalo Soldier. They see the world pretty similar so they bonded. Like a modern-day…or an 1800s Odd Couple.”

Their characters’ closeness throughout the series created a closeness between Garrett and Elliott in real life. And in a recent interview with Paramount+, Sam Elliott described his 1883 experience with LaMonica Garrett.

“When you get an opportunity to take a relationship all the way through a project,” Elliott said. “It just enriches it all the way along. Not only what’s on the page but all the company that comes with it. Working with LaMonica [Garrett] is…it’s special. It’s very special.”

‘1883’ Stars Sam Elliott and LaMonica Garrett Describe Their On-Screen Relationship

Throughout the ten episodes of 1883, fans saw Shea and Thomas, the characters played by Sam Elliott and LaMonica Garrett, evolve and grow. Elliott and LaMonica felt the bond shifting between Shea and Thomas as well.

“I get very emotional when talking about the relationship between Shea and Thomas. They’re close, they’re like brothers,” Elliott said. “The relationship with LaMonica [Garrett] for me is just, you know, they were brothers in arms in the war.”

“Anybody that’s suffered war together,” Elliott continued. “There’s a common bond. It’s often not so much killing the enemy as [it is] protecting your fellow soldiers. That’s where the relationship was born.”

Living in the late 19th century wasn’t easy for anyone, but especially not for the characters of 1883, who fled Texas in search of a better future. “Shea has his demons,” LaMonica Garrett recalled. “As the season goes on, you see that. It kind of tells a lot about their relationship. They’re so used to death, and they’re so used to digging these holes, but life continues to go on and it’s just hard living.”

Taylor Sheridan, creator of 1883 and the entire Yellowstone universe weighed in on the unique bond between Shea and Thomas as well. “You have two men who grew old together,” Sheridan said, “trying to survive and protect each other. Relationships like that, with so much history, they don’t have to say too much.”