When Tim McGraw agreed to his role on 1883, he became part of the effort to expand the Yellowstone universe and the Dutton’s mark on the land. As James Dutton, the country star-turned actor plays the patriarch and main protagonist of the show, so naturally, all eyes are on him and how he performs in these first few episodes. And from the moment he signed his name on the contract, McGraw knew he would need to give his whole heart to the part.
Of course, none of this would have been possible were it not for Kevin Costner giving life to the first Dutton we came to know and love. Much of what Costner has done in the original series has helped create a broader image for the family in the 1883 prequel. He has set the tone for the tough-skinned and close-knit family that never backs down from a challenge.
Despite Costner’s legendary work on Yellowstone, the two main Dutton men haven’t spoken much, save for a few texts. However, he does feel that he’s gotten to know Costner’s character quite well just from being such a big fan of the show.
“When I was on set doing Yellowstone, we texted back and forth a few times but never got the chance to hang out. So I don’t really know Kevin, but I feel like I know John Dutton from watching Yellowstone so much,” McGraw told Deadline.
‘1883’ Star Says Fans Will See the ‘Correlation’ with Original Series
When creating a spinoff series, it seems natural that the show’s original characters would help with the portrayal of earlier family members for the sake of consistency. But, as McGraw told Deadline, 1883 stands alone with or without prior knowledge of Yellowstone. So, whether fans meet John or James Dutton first, they’ll love both series no matter what.
“I think the show will stand on its own and you’ll love it if you watch Yellowstone or you will go and watch Yellowstone to see the continuation of the story,” McGraw explained. “But here you’ll see the gene pool of the Dutton family and the correlation between the original family to the modern Yellowstone Dutton family. You’ll see where the toughness, the stubbornness, the dedication to family comes from.”
And already, we’ve seen the similarities in character between the two Dutton patriarchs. In just the first couple of episodes, James Dutton has demonstrated the same resilience as his great-grandson. From taking down a horde of bandits to reuniting with his loved ones, it’s clear the family principles have survived through three generations.
Whether James finds himself in as much trouble as John III, on the other hand, we have yet to see.