Tim McGraw On Joining Yellowstone Prequel, 1883: “12-14 Hour Days In The Elements… I Wasn’t Looking To Do That”

Tim McGraw Faith Hill country Music

For anybody familiar with Yellowstone, or the prequel show 1883 in particular, you know that Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are starring as James and Margaret Dutton, the original Dutton family that set out and first began the Yellowstone Ranch.

Starring Sam Elliott and country music’s own power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, 1883 is the story of how the Duttons came to settle in Montana, making their way from Texas across the treacherous Great Plains to settle on the modern day Dutton Ranch property.

Tim and Faith play James and Margaret Dutton, the patriarch and matriarch of the Dutton family, while Elliott takes on the role of Shea Brennan, the hardnosed cowboy tasked with leading the expedition.

Billy Bob Thornton, Isabel May and LaMonica Garrett also star in the show, as well as Audie Rick, Marc Rissmann, Eric Nelsen and James Landry Hébert.

With that being said, McGraw and Hill joined the latest episode of the official Yellowstone podcast with Jefferson White to discuss their time on the show.

Tim discussed the heart behind 1883, along with how his opportunity to join the show came about:

“It’s the writing. You’re an actor, a great actor, and I don’t call myself an actor I’m a musician, but it all comes down to the material. I mean, everything is driven by the material that you pick.

I wasn’t looking for a series to do by any means. I wasn’t looking to dedicate five months of my life, ya know six days a week, 12-14 hours a day out in the elements. I wasn’t looking to do that.”

“But as you know, Taylor is a brilliant writer… When he sent these scripts to us, it literally was the best thing I’d ever read, best thing I ever read. And I’m a huge Yellowstone fan, I’ve been a huge Yellowstone fan since the very first night of the premiere episode, and was hooked and never stopped watching.”

“So when we got this opportunity to do this… my agent called and said ‘Hey Taylor Sheridan wants to call you, can I give him your number?’… Sure enough five minutes later Taylor called and said, ‘Hey Tim, big fan, do you watch Yellowstone? I want you to be on the show, will you make a cameo on the show?'”

That’s when they discussed a flashback to original Dutton family, and after a few weeks of McGraw spending time with Sheridan, they decided to go ahead and create a whole prequel.

When asked about having Faith on the show as his wife as well, he admitted that they try to stay away from rehearsing their lines to each other:

“We want to bring our relationship to the screen, because we’ve been married for 25 years, but with James and Margaret’s relationship, we don’t want to bring too much of Tim and Faith to it, we want to bring Margaret and James to life.”

Faith Hill then came on, and she discussed the immersive landscape of the show:

“Taylor wanted it to be as authentic as it could be, and it was gonna be hard work, but not afraid of that because my parents raised us to be hard workers always, Tim as well, and Tim and I have been in the business for over 30 years, so we’ve been in the business longer than you’ve been alive (Jefferson White) I’m sure, and this show has been another level of working hard.”

“However it’s necessary to bring this story to life in a way that it was written, and hopefully we’re doing that justice.”

She also talked about having strength from her collaborators and her husband on set:

“You become a family, and you do work off of one another, and you are going through the exact same thing… we’re all in this together doing it at the same time, and that’s helpful. There’s strength in that for sure.

Tim and I have been married for 25 years, and we’ve done a lot of things together. We haven’t been apart for the past two or three years… When we’ve had this opportunity to film the show together, we’ve never done anything onscreen like this, we could not pass it up. The writing was off the chart, it was extraordinary.

1883 airs Sunday nights, exclusively on Paramount+.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock