‘1883’ Star Tim McGraw Had To Block Out Thoughts of His Daughters During the Finale

by Allison Hambrick

1883 actor Tim McGraw opened up about how the emotional season one finale affected him personally as a father to three daughters. The episode saw McGraw, acting alongside real-life wife Faith Hill, faced with something no parent should ever suffer through: the loss of a child.

On the finale of 1883, McGraw’s James Dutton held his daughter, played by Isabel May, as she died as a result of an injury to her liver. For McGraw, it was like living his worst fear.

“The hardest part for us, I think, was to not be emotional too early,” McGraw told Variety. “Both of our characters are really strong people and wanted to be strong for our family. So that was the hardest thing for us, because we do have daughters and because Isabella, when we first walked on set and saw her, we said, ‘My gosh, she looks she could be one of our daughters.’ It was great casting. But you do become emotionally invested and you do bring your real-life situation into the way you act.”

McGraw and Hill share three daughters: Gracie, Maggie, and Audrey. The couple has been married since 1996.

“You find that piece of your life or a piece of who you are and you can sort of put it under a magnifying glass,” the 1883 star continued. “It does expose all those emotions, and it’s hard as a parent, playing that role — you don’t want to go to any dark places in your mind about your kid. So you have to keep trying to block that out and still be in the moment with the character that you’re playing and the characters you’re playing opposite of, but the lines do get blurry.”

1883 Stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Talk Crying Over Script

According to Hill and McGraw, simply reading the script made them emotional.

“When we got the final two, we literally couldn’t read them to each other because we were crying so much — I mean, ugly, boohoo crying,” said McGraw. “I was a blubbering idiot. It was just so well-written, so devastating and heartbreaking; but at the same time, so on point and poignant for what Yellowstone turned out to be. It just gives you all the reasons in the world why they fight so hard for that land and why their family fights so hard to keep what they have. It just made perfect sense.”

Hill then added: “He couldn’t read it because he was bawling. It took me about an hour to read it to him because most of the time, I couldn’t catch my breath I was crying so hard.”