‘1883’ Star Isabel May Reveals How Many People Auditioned for Role

by Leanne Stahulak
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No “1883” fan can dispute the fact that Isabel May is absolutely perfect for the role of Elsa Dutton. But how did she get it in the first place?

May recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about “1883” and her character, Elsa. When describing the audition process to get the role, May revealed a surprising fact.

“I was the only person to audition for Elsa,” she shared.

How did that happen? Essentially, Taylor Sheridan wrote the role of Elsa around May. He saw her audition for another project, “Mayor of Kingstown,” and something about May struck him as Elsa Dutton.

“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.”

And lucky for us that it happened. May perfectly captures Elsa’s loss of innocence as she navigates this harsh new world. She’s an intriguing and emotional character to witness the story of “1883” through.

‘1883’ Star Isabel May Wishes She’d Spent Time With These Two Famous Co-Stars

While filming “1883,” star Isabel May spent quite a lot of time with Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill. But she didn’t have any scenes with guest star Tom Hanks or Billy Bob Thornton.

And when The Hollywood Reporter asked May if she made an excuse to be on set while the two filmed, May said, “I would lie and say yes, but I refuse to lie. So I’m going to be honest and say no.”

The “1883” star quickly justified her action. “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.”

This makes a lot more sense. May is committed to staying in character, which means interacting as Elsa Dutton on set. But looking back, May does wish she’d done things differently.

“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.”

Outsider.com