‘1883’ Star Tim McGraw Says the Locations Are a ‘Huge Character’ in the ‘Yellowstone’ Prequel

by Leanne Stahulak
Photo Cr: Emerson Miller/Paramount+ © 2021 MTV Entertainment Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Just like in “Yellowstone,” creator Taylor Sheridan made the landscape come alive in his latest prequel series, “1883.”

Both shows take place (at least some of the time) in the beautiful state of Montana. “Yellowstone” focuses on the Dutton Ranch and land that’s already been converted for ranch use. While “1883” promises to show a wild and free land. It’ll be interesting to see how the Dutton ancestors, James and Margaret (played by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill) tame this gorgeous scenery. And make a home out of it.

Earlier this week, McGraw sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about what all the locations in “1883” meant to the show. Aside from Montana, the cast and crew spent most of the time filming in and around Fort Worth, Texas.

“The locations are a huge character in the show,” McGraw revealed to the outlet earlier. “Without these locations, I think – seeing real mountains in Montana, seeing real high plains in Texas, seeing all of the things you see, the backdrop is just as important as anything.”

Seeing the real land that people fought about over 150 years ago makes the story seem that much more visceral and real. No CGI or special effects can replicate the sheer power and beauty in those natural landmarks. And this made filming all the easier for the “1883” actors.

“I mean I’ve heard the camera guy say several times, ‘Gosh we just point the camera in that direction and you guys say your lines and we got a great shot.’ That’s just how beautiful it was,” McGraw concluded.

Montana in ‘1883’ vs. ‘Yellowstone’

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard an actor refer to the land as a character itself. For Taylor Sheridan’s flagship show, “Yellowstone,” star Luke Grimes mimicked “1883” star Tim McGraw about Montana having its own storyline.

“I’ve always said I think that the scenery, that Montana, is probably the biggest character in our show,” Grimes revealed on the official “Yellowstone” podcast. “It’s such a part of the show.”

And what makes Montana such an irresistible character? The charm of the West, the very story that “1883” unravels.

“It’s the romantic idea of the West. And I think part of the reason why people love the show so much is being able to kind of escape,” Grimes said earlier. “[People] sit in their living room and go to this place.”

What’s interesting about Montana in “Yellowstone” and “1883” is that while the former represents the old, traditional land fighting modern progress, the latter is the opposite. Travelers from the east come west to the native land to try and make something new of it in “1883.”

“I think it’s one of the most important parts of our show, and it’s what the show’s about,” Grimes concluded. “Fighting for that, the romantic idea of what that could be. The Yellowstone Ranch kind of is at the crux of everything in the show and everyone’s fighting over it. The beauty of the West is at the core of everything we do here.”