Tim McGraw Describes Filming Tragic Final Scenes of ‘1883’
The final moments of 1883 were absolutely tragic, and Tim McGraw says he was crying until the very end. During two separate interviews, the actor who played James Dutton describes what it was like to prepare for — and be a part of — the show's desperate final moments.
Consider this a spoiler alert. If you have not watched Ep. 10 of 1883 yet and don't want to know how it ends for James, Margaret, Elsa, Shea, etc ... keep it moving. McGraw's thoughts on the show's final scenes name names in a big way.
"It was devastating," he tells TV Line.
The scene he's referring to finds his James Dutton and Isabel May's Elsa Dutton leaning against a tree, awaiting her certain death. On the show, she picked the spot for her death. For the better part of two episodes — ever since she took an arrow to the gut during an intense standoff with Lakota Indians — viewers knew her fate was sealed. The pair did just four or five takes of this particular scene. The first time, McGraw says, he and May were helpless, emotional wrecks.
"Through the whole scene we were both just sobbing," he shares. "Then we finished the scene, and Taylor (creator Taylor Sheridan) goes, 'Cut! All right, we got that one out of the way, now let's cut that s--t out.'"
Just before the take that viewers ultimately saw on Paramount+, McGraw says May leaned her head back on his chest and said something that cut him to the core.
"She goes, 'What’s your favorite things about your daughters?'" the veteran country singer recalls. "She put the knife right in my heart, boy. She knew exactly what she was doing. She was a joy to work with. I loved doing scenes with her."
That moment on set was hardly the first time McGraw cried thinking about his on-screen daughter. During an interview with Variety, he and real-life wife Faith Hill (Margaret Dutton) admit they were "boo-hoo crying" while reading scripts for Ep. 9 and Ep. 10.
"I was a blubbering idiot," McGraw admits.
At one point, Hill handed her husband the script after she'd read for awhile. "He couldn't read it because he was bawling," she says. "It took me about an hour to read it to him, because most of the time, I couldn't catch my breath I was crying so hard."
It remains to be seen if Hill and McGraw will be part of the encore episodes of 1883 that are expected this fall. Both live through the series, so it seems likely, but no one has said what time period the new episodes are set in, and the network has not made any official announcements about the plot or cast. The new episodes do not amount to a second season, however — over the weekend, executive producer David Glasser said that the second Yellowstone origin story, 1932, is thought of as Season 2 of 1883.