‘1883’ Star Isabel May Didn’t Know Who Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Were Before Landing Role

by Leanne Stahulak

“1883” stars Isabel May, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw clearly grew closer over the course of filming the “Yellowstone” prequel.

But going into filming, May, a 21-year-old actress, admitted she didn’t know anything about either country superstar. Not even the fact that they were both famous singers and actors.

The “1883” star talked this over with Kelly Clarkson recently on The Kelly Clarkson Show. The talk show host (another famous country star) asked May what it was like to have McGraw and Hill as her parents on the show.

“[It was] kind of incredible,” May began. “I mean, Tim knows this already so this isn’t a big shock to him. But I didn’t know who they were. I didn’t know that they were big [stars].”

Clarkson quickly cut May off with a “Wait, what? What rock did you live under?” The question we’re all asking ourselves. Clarkson then clarified that the “1883” star is only 21-years-old, so she didn’t necessarily grow up listening to McGraw or Hill’s music.

“Oh my god, you’re so lucky though,” Clarkson said, adding, “You have all this music to catch up on!” That’s definitely one way of looking at it. May saw another positive from the experience.

“To me, I just got to get to know them as just human beings. There was a blank slate,” May explained. “They’re just the loveliest people I think I’ve ever met. I immediately fell in love with them and it was so genuine.”

How Did Isabel May Get Her Role As Elsa Dutton on ‘1883?’

Watching Isabel May interact with “1883” stars like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw leaves no doubt that she’s perfect for the role of Elsa Dutton. And clearly, Taylor Sheridan thought so too.

“I was the only person to audition for Elsa,” May shared with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year. No one else auditioned because Sheridan saw May audition for another one of his shows. And he knew on the spot that she was perfect for the role he was creating in his head.

“I didn’t audition for her, I auditioned for a different project. Taylor was doing another project called ‘Mayor of Kingstown,’ and in March 2021, something like that, he flew three girls out to Texas, including myself. So I auditioned for that, and I was terribly wrong for it,” the “1883″ star said.

“So I don’t know what happened or what it was about myself or our interaction that sparked something in him, but Elsa came to life after our meeting,” May continued. “I take zero credit for it. So he called two weeks later and said, ‘You’re Elsa Dutton. I want you to be Elsa Dutton. Please be Elsa Dutton.’ And I said, ‘Well, of course, I’ll be Elsa Dutton because you’re Taylor Sheridan and it’s my dream to work with you.’ So that’s what we did.”