HomeEntertainmentTVYellowstone‘1883’: Tim McGraw Reveals What Drew Him To James Dutton

‘1883’: Tim McGraw Reveals What Drew Him To James Dutton

by Liz Holland
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

In the midst of 1883 release week, star Tim McGraw reflects on what drew him to his character, James Dutton. In an interview with Deadline, McGraw explained that he held respect for the fact that James Dutton carries both physical and existential war wounds. 

Additionally, James Dutton also spent time in a Union prison camp where he almost died. McGraw tells Deadline, “One of the things that drew me to James’ character is he’s such a complex guy. There’s so much going on in his head, and so much in his backstory,” he said. “And the arc of his character; he starts out caring only about his family, but grows to care about these people he’s leading. He may not show it, but you can see it in his actions and the things that he does. His PTSD is certainly there, and that’s part of what I put on him right away, from his time in the Civil War.”

McGraw continues, “In my mind, I don’t think he wanted to be a part of that war anyway, and didn’t believe in it. Then the South after the war and Reconstruction and the terrible mess that was made. I think that he just wanted to get out of there, and take his family to an untainted place.. He is trying to escape his ghosts. I don’t know that he ever clearly escapes them but hopefully, he finds peace down the road. But I think that it’s something that’s always there in him. It’s something that drives him, that and the love of his family.”

Tim McGraw Faced Challenges On Set For ‘1883’

McGraw also shared what some of his biggest challenges were in the role. Speaking on the early mornings and filming on-location, McGraw says “The most challenging thing has been, I’m a musician, and I’ve seen more sunrises in the last four months than I care to see for the rest of my life. I guess I’ve seen a few sunrises as a musician, but those were self-inflicted sunrises. I don’t want to see any more sunrises for a while.”

The singer also dished on the show’s connection to its predecessor, “Yellowstone”, and how he thinks fans will receive 1883. “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 says. “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.”

You can tune in to 1883 to learn the backstory on the Dutton family and see Tim McGraw in action. The show is now available on Paramount+.