Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have sat atop the country music mountain for decades, releasing numerous chart-topping tracks and earning several awards in their day. However, the musically gifted couple recently embarked on a brand new creative venture for the Paramount+ streaming service known as “1883.” Serving as a prequel to the beloved Paramount series “Yellowstone,” “1883” reveals to fans how the Dutton family acquired their famous ranch and stars McGraw and Hill as James and Margaret Dutton. As one could imagine, their westward trek came with its share of difficulties, but luckily, they didn’t go alone.
Shea Brennan — a Civil War veteran and seasoned traveler — leads the wagon train and does his best to keep his companions safe and informed. All the while, he has to process the recent deaths of his wife and daughter, as well as come to terms with his advancing age. Seasoned actor Sam Elliott signed on to portray Brennan, and to the surprise of no one, he has done an excellent job. After all, he has made a career off of playing wise, cowboy hat-wearing journeymen in projects like “Tombstone” and “The Big Lebowski.” Although, “1883” did give him the career first of working alongside Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
Though this sounds like a match made in country heaven, it came with the odd bump in the road. As McGraw recalls, he and Elliott shared in a rather uncomfortable behind-the-scenes encounter that has stuck with him long after production wrapped.
Elliott picked on McGraw for forgetting his line
During a recent appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Tim McGraw discussed his experience working on “1883.” After touching on the discomfort that came with his wardrobe and the often extreme weather conditions, he shared his feelings about working with Sam Elliott. McGraw had mostly nothing but positive things to say until he brought up the filming process of Episode 2, titled “Behind Us, a Cliff.” It featured Billy Bob Thornton as Marshal Jim Courtwright in a performance that threw McGraw off of his game — much to the dismay of Elliott.
The scene in question depicts a shootout at a saloon, which Thornton’s Courtwright was very much involved in. Enamored by his “Friday Night Lights” co-star’s work, McGraw totally forgets the line he was supposed to deliver to Sam Elliott, resulting in the loss of an otherwise perfect take. “I totally forgot I had a line with Sam, so I just blow right by Sam and don’t stop and deliver my line,” he recalls, and by the time he realized his mistake, it was too late. Upon apologizing for the flub, Elliott coldly replied that he noticed and joked to McGraw that “at least you got the squint down.”
It’s not uncommon for small mistakes on a television or film set to cause tensions to rise between actors. Thankfully, it sounds like neither Tim McGraw nor Sam Elliott made a big deal of their situation, leaving the “1883” shoot and their professional relationship firmly intact.