While “1883” fans witnessed many deaths throughout the first season, few hit as hard as the two in the season finale.
WARNING! Massive spoilers ahead for the season finale of “1883,” which aired on Sunday, Feb. 27 on Paramount Plus.
Elsa Dutton (Isabel May) finally met her fate during the last two episodes of the season. In Episode 1, we saw her get shot by an arrow in a flash-forward scene. That scene happened in real-time during Episode 9. But her injuries were infected and severe, and she ended up dying in the last episode.
Elsa’s death scene pulled at everyone’s heartstrings, including “1883” star Eric Nelsen. He sat down with May for a chat about the show earlier this week. The official “1883” Instagram account posted the hour-long talk between Nelsen and May, where Nelsen admitted that Elsa’s death made him tear up.
“It was a two-part death that made me cry harder than I’ve ever cried reading something in my entire life,” Nelsen admitted. “I never cry, at least not easily, when I read a book or a script. For whatever reason, my emotions are super thick when I’m reading.”
He added, “However when I read Episodes 9 and 10, I had a rare moment of just completely breaking down and bawling like a baby.”
We understand the feeling. Reading about the death on paper is one thing. But watching Tim McGraw and Isabel May act it out on-screen with the music in the background just sucker-punched everyone.
Nelsen admitted that this moment might’ve hit him harder than normal because he understands where McGraw’s character James Dutton comes from.
‘1883’ Star Eric Nelsen Admits Elsa’s Death was Heartbreaking Because He’s a ‘Girl Dad’
“1883” star Eric Nelsen understands James Dutton’s position because he himself has a daughter. Nelsen opened up about the thoughts running through his head when he read the script and why that likely caused him to “bawl like a baby.”
“When I think about it, I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that I’m a girl dad myself,” Nelsen shared. “I’ve got a little two-year-old daughter who’s the love of my life. She’s the cutest, most amazing thing in the world.”
Nelsen continued, “As a father of a little girl, I couldn’t help but imagine picturing myself in James Dutton’s shoes. And thinking about what it would be like knowing I only had a matter of hours or days left with my baby girl.”
A thought that would shatter any parent’s heart. Even though Nelsen didn’t participate in the scene himself, the emotions of it still got to him.
“It truly ripped my heart open. And of course my tissue box too, that thing was destroyed,” Nelsen concluded. “Sheridan, he knows how to evoke emotion, that’s for sure.”