HomeEntertainmentTVYellowstone‘1883’s Tim McGraw Says Billy Bob Thorton Gave Him the Best Acting Advice

‘1883’s Tim McGraw Says Billy Bob Thorton Gave Him the Best Acting Advice

by Craig Garrett
Billy Bob Thornton and Tim McGraw
(Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Wynn Las Vegas)

Though he’s a Country Music superstar, Tim McGraw quietly built up an impressive acting resume full of solid supporting parts and lead roles. On the big screen, McGraw played both a responsible father (The Blind Side) and an abusive alcoholic (Friday Night Lights). More recently, he’s made new fans with his turn as James Dutton in the Yellowstone prequel, 1883.

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Despite his long list of accomplishments, even he admits that there’s one aspect of acting that never gets easier. “I mean, auditioning is tough,” McGraw admitted recently on the Bobby Bones Show. “It’s the hardest thing in the world. The things that I’ve done that I think that I’ve done the best at are the things I didn’t have to audition for.”

Despite landing a role, it could be intimidating to ensure that no one on set questions the decision – especially when working with accomplished and Oscar-winning actors such as Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Sam Elliott, and Billy Bob Thornton. McGraw had collaborated with each of these superstars which may have caused him nerves; seeking validation for his capabilities.

“Every time it’s like, ‘Do you hate me?'” he quipped. “Like, when you don’t get anything back and they just walk off you’re like, ‘Did I suck? Did I just ruin that scene for him?'”

Tim McGraw on the best acting advice he’s ever been given

Indeed, McGraw has been the recipient of tremendous counsel that enabled his acting dreams to remain alive. At the start of McGraw’s career, Thornton imparted advice that served him well when they reconnected in 1883.

“The best advice I ever got as an actor came from Billy Bob Thornton when we were doing Friday Night Lights. I was scared to death because that was my first big movie,” McGraw recalled. “I asked him for any advice he’d give me and he says, ‘If you think you’re not doing enough you’re probably still doing too much.'”

Of course, McGraw pointed out that just having the cameras and crew around was enough to make anyone nervous. However, if he’s done his homework, he knows he’s halfway there.

“I’m pretty calm as long as I know my words. As long as I know the script then I feel pretty calm about it, but I have to say when you’re doing a scene with Sam Elliott and you have to stare him down and sort of have a confrontation with him, that gets a little nerve-wracking because he can stare you down pretty good,” McGraw explained.

Tim McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill, shared the screen in 1883 as James and Margaret Dutton. According to Taste of Country, In order to prepare for their roles as the patriarchs of this family drama series, they attended Taylor Sheridan’s “cowboy camp”, where they practiced how to look like proper cowboys. That sort of preparation made them both ready to step up their acting game.