You may not guess it from watching her on screen, but “1883” star Isabel May is quite the city girl. The 21 year old actress has spent most of her life in hubs like New York City and Los Angeles. However, when May landed her role as Elsa Dutton on the “Yellowstone” prequel, the young actress had lots to learn. From learning how to ride horses to waking up at daybreak and doing things the old fashioned way, May certainly had an enlightening few months while filming. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actress opened up about how her role has been “truly eye-opening.”
After spending so much time immersed in the 19th century, May says “You can’t not have a newfound perspective on the past and the present.”
The actress shared that when she landed the role, all the outdoorsy stuff was new territory for her. She had the summer before filming to get familiar with horse-riding. Then, she went off to show creator Taylor Sheridan’s infamous “Cowboy Camp.”
Isabel May Reflects On the Challenges Of the 19th Century
It wasn’t just spending time with wranglers that changed May’s perspective, though. Diving head-first into her character’s life helped her realize how simple things are in modern life. On the same token, it’s given her a new appreciation for the conveniences of the 21st Century. Despite the times we live in, there are certainly some things we take for granted.
“Everything was more challenging back then, and yes, this has also been an incredibly challenging time as most people today feel lost and confused,” the starlet reflects.
“But you didn’t have to walk across the country and risk being bitten by a snake, killed by a bandit, getting some sort of terrible sickness, and drinking bad water and dying,” she continues. “It’s mind-boggling how many ways you could be harmed or killed. And you were certainly at risk to lose the vast majority of the people you loved, which I think was the hardest part of it. I can walk 2,000 steps a day and be completely fine, which is almost embarrassing. I can drive anywhere I need to go or I can order someone to get it for me. We have access to so many things and we really don’t have to do much hard labor at all.”
Where Can You Watch the Newest ‘1883’ Episode?
This new experience has opened up Isabel May’s world to actively seeking out the more old-fashioned things, she says. She added, “So living in this world for the last few months has been so enlightening and truly eye-opening, and it’s made me appreciate what I have. And it makes me want to take the harder path sometimes — like walk to the grocery store rather than drive there.” The star laughed before emphasizing that, “Little things like that are not that challenging, but the easiest things have become a great challenge to us.”
“1883” will return with a new episode on Sunday, January 30th. You can watch Isabel May in action on Paramount+.