‘1883’ Star Isabel May Emotionally Describes Elsa Dutton as a ‘Beautiful Person’

by Samantha Whidden
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With her highly-anticipated series 1883 set to premiere this Sunday (December 19th), Isabel May is opening up about her character Elsa Dutton.

While chatting with Deadline recently, the 1883 actress stated that the role is considered one of her favorite performances of all time. She also said the role is a character study where the audience is taken on a journey. “That was the first firm that I thought of when I read this,” May declared. It is so rare for a young actor, actress, in particular, to have this opportunity. And it’s quite emotional to think about.”

May then describes her 1883 character as being a beautiful person with a beautiful soul. “She experiences the tragedy, and heartbreak, devastation, and love. And has a full arc. There’s so much depth to her. And then, she also gets to become different people. You know, she’s not just one girl. She’s one type of girl that becomes a different type of girl that becomes a woman. And becomes a different type of woman.”

1883 creator Taylor Sheridan also spoke about May’s character. “There’s a real depth to her. She’s very young and I liked that innocence. But not naïveté. She’s not blind to the world. Some people, there’s a certain goodness permeates from them and she has that.”

Sheridan goes on to add that he felt like telling the story from the perspective of a 19-year-old girl coming of age. “And in one of the most hellish events that a family could endure was a fascinating prospect for the storyteller.”

Taylor Sheridan Opens Up About What Drew Him to Isabel May For ‘1883’ 

Also during the interview with Deadline, Taylor Sheridan explained why Isabel May didn’t get the role of Iris in Mayor of Kingstown but scored the role in 1883. “I saw she could represent innocence and hope,” he explained. “And I called Paramount and said, ‘I got good news. And then, I got some you need to trust me news.’”

Sheridan goes on to share that he didn’t figure out how to tell 1883 quite yet at that point, but he had Sam Elliott as well as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill already. “I had not found the bridge between them all. When I met Isabel, the whole story, all 10 episodes, went right through my mind.”

That’s when he decided to call Paramount and tell the network that he was going to sit down and start writing. “[I said], ‘You’ll have the first episodes in about three weeks. But I need to hire the lead. The female lead. Who’s a complete unknown, right now. Before I start writing. Because it won’t work if we don’t get her. And she goes and does another job.’”

Outsider.com