‘1883’: How Sam Elliott ‘Set the Tone’ for Scenes With LaMonica Garrett

by Jonathan Howard

Ahead of the premiere of 1883, LaMonica Garrett talked about his relationship with Sam Elliott and how the veteran cowboy “set the tone” for their time on set.

Already, Garrett has a lot of great stories to tell about his time on the set of 1883. Not only is his character Thomas close with Shea, Elliott’s character, but the two actors grew close as well. Hopefully, that shows on screen when the time comes.

So, heading into their roles on the show, they both knew the deal. Former Civil War soldiers, Thomas a Buffalo Soldier in the war. Shea, his commanding officer. However, neither were okay with their roles after the war, which we don’t know too much about. Now, they work as Pinkertons.

When the two first met, the way Garrett describes it sounds like a movie or show itself.

“When I first met Sam, it was at the saloon on the ranch we were staying at, in our little COVID bubble,” Garrett remembered. “He spotted me across the room, he came over to me and grabbed me by the shoulders. He looked at me with those eyes, his gaze, and he was like, ‘We’re gonna have a great time working on this together.’ He gave me a hug, and that just set the tone for what the rest of the relationship was going to be.”

Could I have Sam Elliott look me in the eye and set the tone for my workday…like every day? Because I think that would do wonders for me. It really sounds like a moment that you couldn’t even script without going over the top. However, it apparently worked.

‘1883’ Characters Have ‘1800s Bromance’

When it comes to Thomas and Shea they are supposed to be close as any other duo on the show. Probably with the exception of James and Margaret Dutton. LaMonica Garrett describes the relationship between the two as an “1800s bromance.” That sounds like a great dynamic to be honest.

Garrett talked about the chemistry that the two had built on and off camera and how that only helped the characters develop.

“That chemistry that we built before the cameras started rolling spilled right over into their relationship,” Garrett explained. “Thomas and Shea served in the war together. Shea was Thomas’ captain in the Civil War, the Buffalo Soldiers. And when the war was over, the responsibilities changed for what the Buffalo Soldiers were doing, and they didn’t sign up for that.”

As Pinkertons, the two are part lawmen part vigilante. It will be interesting how that stacks up with the other egos and attitudes on 1883. James Dutton will surely not have a problem interacting with these private investigators…we can’t wait to see!