‘1883’: Tim McGraw Said Tom Hanks Walking Onto the Set Was ‘Pretty Magical’

by Amy Myers

Besides the rockstar main cast, 1883 has had some pretty amazing cameos as well, including Tom Hanks. In the Yellowstone spinoff, Hanks plays Civil War General George Meade in James Dutton’s (Tim McGraw) flashback.

The scene was nothing short of iconic. The on-screen dynamic between the 1883 stars was natural and emotional which is impressive considering the two didn’t see each other before appearing on set together.

“We didn’t see each other that whole morning,” McGraw explained to PEOPLE.

“I didn’t want to see what he looked like. He didn’t want to see what I looked like, because we know each other so well,” McGraw recalled. “So when he walked on set, it was pretty magical. And when he puts his hand on my shoulder in that scene, you could feel the weight of the world between both of them with what had gone on. It was a pretty heavy scene.”

Although this is the first time that McGraw and Hanks have worked together on screen, the 1883 stars know each other quite well. In fact, McGraw and his wife/1883 counterpart, Faith Hill, often hang out with Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson.

“You never want to botch a scene when you got Tom Hanks in there with you,” McGraw, 54, told Cinemablend. “But yeah, he’s a great guy. We’ve been friends for a long time. Rita, his wife, and Faith are best friends, and Tom and I’ve been friends for 25 years, 24 years.”

‘1883’ Star Tim McGraw Even Offered the Part to Tom Hanks

Of course, because the stars are so close in real life, McGraw is well familiar with Hanks’ talents on screen and his ability to portray deeply complex characters that rely heavily on body language and those unspoken moments between lines. So, when the part for General Meade became available, the 1883 star called up his good friend and offered him the part.

“I knew that there was this part in there, and I gave him a call said, ‘Hey, would you be interested in showing up doing a cameo in this show that we’re doing?’ And he goes, ‘Tell me when to be there,’ and he just showed up,” McGraw explained.

As we now know, the part was a natural fit for Hanks, and he worked flawlessly with the country music star-turned actor.

Because James Dutton’s experience in the Civil War was such a defining moment of his past, it’s likely that we haven’t seen the last of Hanks on 1883. As the family’s journey continues, we may continue to see more flashbacks that fill in the blanks of James’ personality and tendencies. Hopefully, this will include more meaningful conversations with General Meade.