‘1883’ Star Isabel May Talks What She Learned from Faith Hill

by Liz Holland

1883” star Isabel May opened up in a recent interview about what she’s learned from her co-star, Faith Hill. On the show, Isabel May portrays Elsa Dutton– daughter of James Dutton (Tim McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill). 

In an interview with Youtuber “DC Film Girl”, the actress had nothing but kind things to say about Hill. “Really what I learned from Faith– I’ve learned quite a bit. But, one of the prominent things is that she is a kick a-s-s businesswoman. She handles herself so beautifully. There’s so much craziness that has occurred while we were filming–weather, obstacles in our path. And she just has such incredible composure. I hope only that I can take a little bit of that with me in my life,” the star gushes of her on-screen Mom. 

It’s clear the respect between Hill and May is a two-way street, as Hill tells May after her answer, “You already have that baby.” 

Faith Hill Challenged Outside Her Comfort Zone

May is certainly not the only “1883” cast member with respect for Hill and her acting chops. Hill’s husband, Tim McGraw shared in an interview how the couple initially struggled with an intimate scene in episode 1.

The scene shows the couple sharing a bath together, which felt super private. However, thanks to professionalism on set and grit from both Hill and McGraw stepping out of their comfort zones, it came out beautifully. McGraw said of the scene, “It was a little tense at first to figure it out and to get comfortable with it because that’s something that’s pretty private for us no doubt,” McGraw said. “But after we got into the scene and really started falling into the character and stopped thinking about us, then it became better and better and better.”

What Makes ‘1883’ So Special

Faith Hill also gave insight about what exactly drew her to say yes to the “1883” project. “The writing,” Hill explains. “The writing is one of the best things I’ve ever read, truthfully. Yeah, that was really it. It was the writing. The story of this family, the story for our daughter Elsa, who is played by Isabel May, this beautiful woman here, this young woman sitting next to me who I’ve adopted,” the actress jokes. She continues, “What an incredibly written journey for a family, but for a young woman in particular.”

And when it comes to what the experience was like, Hill says it was something special. She shares that although she does have an extensive background in music videos and similar projects, that “1883” is a whole new ball game. When asked how her time on-screen for music videos has prepared her for a project like this, Hill says, “I guess just as a performer in general, but I don’t know that it prepped me for anything like this, to be honest… It’s a different medium, but yet some of it can co-exist– this is entirely different. It’s beautiful in the sense that I get to be someone completely different than myself, which is fun.”