‘1883’ Star Isabel May Recalls Watching Taylor Sheridan Ride at Cowboy Camp: ‘An Intimidating Figure’

by Courtney Blackann
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“1883” star Isabel May is reflecting on filming season one of the newly popular drama series. She says more than anything, she feels super lucky to be a part of the project. However, it doesn’t come without some curves along the way. May had to learn to ride on horseback and attended the famous Cowboy Camp Taylor Sheridan sends all his actors to. And while Sheridan is the mastermind behind the story, he also rides seamlessly, May says.

Speaking in an interview with Jefferson White for the Yellowstone Official Podcast, May opens up about her intimidating experience seeing Sheridan riding around on horseback as she was struggling to learn.

“I remember just the first day of Cowboy Camp and seeing him haul ass around and he’s an intimidating figure, but I don’t know I just think he’s so much fun and God, I’m so lucky – that’s all I can think about…it’s been a little disorienting but we’re acting like we’re done, but we’re really, really not even close – we have to shoot three episodes and we’re shooting out of order so everything is a little discombobulated,” May says.

Finding Isabel May for “1883”

Her character as Elsa Dutton is only beginning to develop internally. She’s just established herself as one of the cowboys tasked with herding cattle alongside her father James Dutton as they head west. Further, Elsa is discovering things about her womanhood as she comes into her own. Finding love along the way, Elsa is no longer the adolescent she once was.

The brutality of the travels are no match for Elsa’s spirit. She’s central to the story, tying her family together as they make the hopeful journey west.

And Taylor Sheridan agrees with this point. After finding Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to star in his “Yellowstone” prequel, Sheridan said finding Isabel May made the whole project develop for him.

“I called Paramount and said, ‘I got good news, and then, I got some you need to trust me news.’ At this point I had not figured out how to tell this story and I had Sam Elliott over here and I had Tim McGraw here and Faith Hill and I had not found the bridge between them all. When I met Isabel, the whole story, all 10 episodes, went right through my head,” he explained.

He goes on to say that:

“The good news is she’s going to be the star of this thing with me,’” he said. “She said, ‘What is it?’ I said, ‘Well, give me three weeks, but make the deal now. Please trust me.’ And she did the deal. I spoke with Isabel and said, ‘You’re going to do this. You don’t know what it is yet but trust me, you’ll be great. Please say yes.’ She said yes and I sat down and wrote it.”

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