1883’s Sam Elliott Confirms What We Suspected About Isabel May’s On-Set Behavior


Taylor Sheridan’s television universe that started with the Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone” is seemingly ever-expanding. “Yellowstone” first aired in 2018; with four seasons now under his belt, Sheridan has partially turned his attention to fleshing out the series’ world with three spin-off series: “1883” and upcoming “1923” serve as prequels to the original show, while the in-the-works “6666” will expand the present-day world of “Yellowstone” beyond the Dutton ranch.

“1883,” Sheridan’s first prequel project, started airing on Paramount+ in December 2021 and follows the Dutton family’s late-19th-century ancestors as they travel west to the eventual Yellowstone Dutton Ranch in Montana. Sheridan made sure to match the star power of “Yellowstone” with the prequel series, too: Veteran actor Sam Elliott plays a former Union Army captain who agrees to travel west with Dutton family pioneers James (Tim McGraw) and Margaret (Faith Hill), as well as their teenage daughter Elsa (Isabel May). Despite the involvement of significant country music stars in McGraw and Hill, it’s May’s character whose experience “1883” often follows most closely. Elsa narrates the 10-episode series, capturing relationships between Americans, European immigrants, and indigenous peoples on the trails west in a post-Civil War United States.

Paramount+ and Sheridan’s faith in May and the rest of the “1883” cast paid off; the streaming service recently awarded the series 15 more episodes (via THR), and even Elliott is praising his young co-star for all of her many contributions to the first season’s success.

Sam Elliott says Isabel May could have a long career in Hollywood


Sam Elliott paid compliments to “1883” co-star Isabel May’s acting abilities in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. May, who is only 21, portrays 17-year-old Elsa Dutton on “1883” and serves as a narrator for the series. Elliott noted May’s age to THR, saying that the young actress could have a long acting career if she wants it.

“[May] never had much experience on a horse, but looks like she’s been riding a horse her whole life. And every time she opens her mouth in a scene, she is just mesmerizing,” Elliott said.

May’s acting abilities and potential reportedly impressed Sheridan so much when she first auditioned for a separate project that he told her he would personally create a role for her to play in his burgeoning television universe (via Town and Country Magazine). As a result, “1883” focuses significantly on Elsa’s experience as the Dutton family travels west to Montana. As a young actress, May joins a production at a scale that even veteran actor Elliott told THR is beyond anything he’s experienced before. The 77-year-old said there are “more horses, more wranglers and more production people [on set]” than any other experience making a Western he’s had in over 50 years of acting.

“They’re getting their money’s worth,” Elliott said.

May has similarly praised her experience working with Elliott on “1883,” telling Town and Country Magazine he is “quite literally the classiest, kindest, most considerate individual I’ve ever met.”


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