Sam Elliott, star of the Paramount Plus series “1883,” joined the “Today Show” earlier today (Wednesday) to talk about his hit show.
Elliott is a heavily popular western star with a penchant for playing rough and tough cowboys. He does exactly that in “1883,” portraying Shea Brennan, a grizzled Civil War veteran. Brennan’s charge is to lead a group along the Oregon Trail, showing them how they can survive the treacherous path to a better life. Included in his group are James and Margaret Dutton, the first of the Dutton family to settle in Montana. They are direct descendants of John Dutton, the current owner of the “Yellowstone” Ranch, one of the largest cattle ranches in the United States.
During the interview, Elliott talks about the filming conditions that he and the cast endured during filming. “1883” was filmed in Fort Worth, Texas toward the end of summer with the temperatures still blazing hot. Elliott says the best thing for an actor to do in this situation is to accept the heat is there to stay.
You have to embrace it,” he says of the soaring film temps. “If you let it get to you — it’s just no fun. You just got to go with it. You just have to realize it. Things weren’t that easy on the Oregon Trail. We have it a lot easier than they did.”
With Taylor Sheridan demanding authenticity, much the same as with “Yellowstone,” actors had to wear numerous layers of clothing. That added to the heat aspect but Elliott notes they all got through it together.
Still, Elliott and the “1883” cast are thankful for technology that obviously was not available then.
“I know for a fact I am not tough enough to have made it up the trail,” he continues.
‘1883’ Star Sam Elliott Talks About Why He Took the Part
Once “Yellowstone” hit the air in 2018, numerous fans begged Taylor Sheridan to get Sam Elliott on the series. He was unsuccessful in getting Elliott to “Yellowstone” but he had an “1883” part waiting for him. Fans of the franchise are thrilled that Elliott chose to participate in the western series and he plays the role of Shea Brennan perfectly. In a recent interview with Esquire, the actor says the series looks like a film made to fit television.
“I’ve never seen one that has looked anything like this on television, for sure,” the western acting icon says It looks like a motion picture on the big screen.”
Elliott also talks about the show’s overriding themes of good and bad and how those can get tangled up.
“I think there’s a real dichotomy in the good and the bad,” he continues. “There are people killing each other for Christ’s sake—and there’s goodness. There’s Isabel laying under the wagon. If she comes out from under that wagon, then she gets an arrow stuck under her. Maybe it’s not good and bad, but it’s certainly heaven and hell, or whatever you want to call it.”