‘1883’: Sam Elliott Has Serious ‘Doubt’ About His Character’s Backstory

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for for Paramount+)

Following the season finale of Paramount+’s hit series 1883, actor Sam Elliott opens up about his character, Shea Brennan.

During an interview with The Official Yellowstone Podcast, Sam Elliott admitted he has some serious doubt about his 1883 character’s backstory. The backstory about the cowboy is, he was a former Union captain. He eventually meets up with Thomas, played by LaMonica Garret. And the duo meets the Duttons in Forth Worth.

However, Elliott says he is not convinced that 1883 creator Taylor Sheridan’s claim about the cowboy riding with LaMonica Garrett’s Thomas is historically accurate. “Taylor says that Shea was with them at some point. Which, I doubt. All the photographers I’ve ever seen of the Buffalo Soldiers, there weren’t any white guys with them.”

Meanwhile, Sam Elliott shared more details about the friendship he worked with his 1883 co-star LaMonica Garrett. “I knew LaMonica’s work. But I never met LaMonica before. We first crossed paths on a gun range. Shooting live ammo, shooting blankets. But I think it’s safe to say that LaMonica and I really hit it off. Like, immediately. And to this day, we call each other brother. And we love each other.

In regards to the relationship between Shea and Thomas, Sam Elliott added, “We’ve brought something to that relationship with the show, which makes its ultra-special to me. They’re brothers in arms. LaMonica rode with the Buffalo Soldiers, a cavalry in the Civil War.”

Tim McGraw Talks Working With Sam Elliott on ‘1883’ 

Meanwhile, country music superstar Tim McGraw, who played James Dutton, recently spoke about working with Sam Elliott on the set of 1883. He also shared what he learned from Elliot. “One particular day, I told Sam, I said, ‘Thanks for doing this and being a part of this. And I just want to let you know that I’ve learned so much from watching you.’ He just looked at me and said, ‘Oh yeah? Well, I haven’t learned a f—ing thing from you.’ So, thanks, Sam. Enjoyed it.”

Tim McGraw also describes his 1883 co-star as fantastic and easy, as well as fun, to work with. “Everything you’d ever think he was, he lived up to. He was one of the nicest, sweetest guys in the world.”

Tim McGraw also revealed that Sam Elliott gave him grief after he forgot some lines on the set of 1883. “[I said], ‘Gosh Sam, I’m sorry I forgot my line. I was supposed to deliver a line to you. And Sam goes, ‘I noticed.’ And then he goes, ‘At least you’ve got the squint down.’ I walk off and get on my mark and go, ‘Dang, he just jabbed me.’ So, a few minutes later, I walk back over to him and say, ‘You know, Sam. The squint worked pretty good for Clint Eastwood.’ He goes, ‘Yeah, it did.’”