‘1883’ Star Isabel May Regrets Not Getting to Film With These Stars

by Leanne Stahulak
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“1883” star Isabel May worked with several big-name actors for the Taylor Sheridan-led show, including Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill.

But May missed out on spending time with two key guest stars for the show. In “1883” Episode 2, Tom Hanks made an appearance as a Union general. He comforted McGraw’s character James Dutton in a Civil War flashback.

Fans also saw Bily Bob Thornton make an appearance as Marshal Jim Courtright. He mostly featured in the show’s first few episodes, when they were close to Fort Worth, Texas.

But May’s character Elsa Dutton didn’t interact with those two “1883” guest stars. And when The Hollywood Reporter asked May if she made an excuse to be on set that day, May replied, “I would lie and say yes, but I refuse to lie. So I’m going to be honest and say no.”

Here’s Why ‘1883’ Stars Isabel May Didn’t Go See Tom Hanks and Billy Bob Thornton

The Hollywood Reporter interviewer, like the rest of us, was disappointed to hear May say that. But the “1883” star justified her reasoning.

“I know, I know, I’m terrible,” May said. “But I have this weird thing where if my character is not in it, I don’t want to be there. I know that sounds sad. But for some reason, there’s just something that takes me out of it. I want to pretend that it’s real life, so much so that it’s difficult for some reason. I can’t explain it, but I just can’t participate unless Elsa is actively there.”

When she puts it like that, her actions do make a bit more sense. What would Elsa have to say to a Union general who beat her dad in battle? Or to the Marshal? May clearly remained dedicated to the role.

The “1883” star also just wanted a little “me time.”

“I’m also very much a loner, so when I had time to myself, I soaked in it and treasured that time,” May shared. “But I did get to meet Billy Bob and Tom very briefly, and they’re both lovely people. I just wanted to see their performances on screen and not watch them behind a monitor.”

So, she can still say she met both world-famous actors. May just didn’t interact with them much on set since their characters didn’t overlap. Looking back now, though, May does wish she’d made a different choice.

“It was probably a giant mistake that I sort of regret deep down,” the “1883” star revealed. I’m a little pissed at myself. But in the moment, you make decisions that you regret, and I can’t turn back the wheel of time.”

True that. Now we’ll just have to see if “1883” gets renewed for Season 2, and then maybe May can grab a couple of scenes with Hanks or Thornton.

Outsider.com