‘1883’ Star Tim McGraw Reflects on How Much Fun He Had Filming First Scene

by Thad Mitchell

More than a few eyebrows were raised last year when Tim McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill, took the lead roles in “Yellowstone” prequel “1883.”

The country music power couple has proven doubters wrong as both “1883” stars have been terrific in the roles. They play James and Margaret Dutton, direct ancestors of current Yellowstone Ranch owner John Dutton. “1883” tells the story of their cross-country journey on the Oregon Trail, where they would eventually settle in Montana. From there, the Dutton family would build a cattle ranch empire that provides the “Yellowstone” backdrop. Fans of the franchise will get another piece of the puzzle when another prequel “1932” arrives.

In a recent interview, McGraw talks about filming “1883” and how much fun it was. Obviously, there was a lot of hard work involved but McGraw makes sure to note that he and Hill took a good amount of joy from the filming process. The “Don’t Take the Girl” singer says he was hooked on the part after shooting the very first scene.

“The first thing we shot, it was just so much fun,” he recalls. “We’re going so fast and the shootout was so great. I remember gettin’ off the horse and walkin’ around going, ‘I don’t care if I do any other film for the rest of my life, I wanna do westerns from now on.'”

McGraw says he’s long been a “Yellowstone” fan, so when series creator Taylor Sheridan asked him to be part of — it was a no-brainer.

“I’d been a fan of Yellowstone since the first night it came out,” the country music superstar continues. “So, Taylor called, and he goes, ‘Hey man, I want you to be in Yellowstone, and you’re gonna play the original Dutton who founded the Yellowstone ranch.”

‘1883’ Star Tim McGraw Convinces His Wife to Join in

While McGraw was down with “1883” from the get-go, he wasn’t sure if his wife, Faith Hill, would feel the same way. He approached the subject cautiously but got the answer he was hoping for.

“He (Sheridan) said, ‘You’re also gonna have a wife. Do you think Faith would be interested in playing your wife?’ And it took me about three days to get the nerve up to ask her. She said, ‘Sure, I’ll be glad to do it. It’ll be fun,” McGraw recalls.

The country music duo’s first task was to film a few “1883” flashback scenes for a “Yellowstone” episode.

“So, we did two flashback episodes,” McGraw continues. Taylor called me and said, ‘I showed the flashbacks to the studio and they want to do a whole series now.’ So, when he sent the script for 1883 and we read it, Faith and I both were like, ‘This is just too special.  It’s just too special not to do.”