“1883” star and legendary actor Sam Elliot spoke in an interview recently about his role in the “Yellowstone” prequel. He commented on the fact that he’d actually never seen “Yellowstone” before, and then went on to talk about how the two shows are linked.
“I’m not going to say we’re tainted by [“Yellowstone”] but we’re certainly tied to it here,” said Elliot. “That said, the only thing that ties us together in reality is the fact that it’s a prequel to how the Duttons got to Montana in the first place.
“If there were no ‘Yellowstone’,” he continued, “‘1883’ would be happy to stand on its own, I’m sure.” And it’s possible that the show could stand on its own. If you know nothing about “Yellowstone” I’m sure it wouldn’t have the same impact, but it wouldn’t be any less enjoyable. It’s possible for “1883” to be its own entity, separate from “Yellowstone.” But, looking at it through the “Yellowstone” lens just makes it that much more interesting.
Sam Elliot Praises Isabel May’s Acting
Elsa Dutton, played by Isabel May, is the heart and soul of “1883.” As Faith Hill told Outsider, Taylor Sheridan built the world around Elsa Dutton, making her the central focal point from where all observations of the environment come from. He also crafted the character specifically for Isabel May.
Sam Elliot had only good things to say about his co-star. He told The Hollywood Reporter, Isabel May is only 21. Never had much experience on a horse, but looks like she’s been riding a horse her whole life. And every time she opens her mouth in a scene, she is just “mesmerizing.”
Taylor Sheridan spoke to Deadline about how he created May’s character, recalling that she auditioned for “Mayor of Kingstown,” but that she just wasn’t right for the part. “What made her wrong for Iris made her, I felt, the personification of this world of ‘1883’,” Sheridan said. “I called Paramount and said, ‘I got good news, and then, I got some you need to trust me news.’”
Sheridan admitted that he “had not figured out how to tell this story […] 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.” Once he met Isabel May, he found his bridge.
May has a perfect sense of Western innocence that fits perfectly in that world. She reminds me of Evan Rachel Wood’s Delores from the early episodes of “Westworld.” A childlike wonder, but still mature enough to know when to do her chores and pitch in to help her family. She’s the link between all the characters, the eye into the world, and she does it all flawlessly.