Tim McGraw + Faith Hill Share the Difficulties of Filming ‘1883’ in the Middle of Nowhere [Pictures]
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are the two main stars of the upcoming Yellowstone prequel 1883, but that doesn't mean they're living high on the hog on the set of the Paramount+ show. In fact, in a new interview in advance of the premiere, Hill admits that she's had to make do without any access to a proper bathroom in the arduous conditions in which they've been filming — and that's just the beginning.
McGraw and Hill star as James and Margaret Dutton, the great-grandparents of John Dutton, Kevin Costner's character on Yellowstone. 1883 tells the backstory of how the Duttons came to own the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the U.S. by following the early Dutton clan on a wagon train trip from Texas to Montana, where they hope to build a better life.
Series creator Taylor Sheridan insists on filming the show amid the gritty realism of the actual landscapes instead of sets, and while that's part of the appeal of the show, it also presents a series of challenges.
"That's why so many actors are drawn to Taylor's writing because he is portraying the story in a way that was lived," Hill tells Entertainment Weekly, adding that she had to become "quite comfortable" with the cast and crew of the show in short order.
"You learn how to pick a tree, squat down, and do your business," she states.
Both McGraw and Hill have other acting credits, but this is their first time working together as actors, and McGraw professes admiration for his wife's steely work ethic.
"To see my beautiful wife on horseback, firing guns, and having dirt all over her face, I just sit in awe," he tells EW. "She's a strong woman, anyway. Taylor said early on to me, 'Man, you'll just get on that horse. You're not scared of anything.' I said, 'I'm scared of one thing. She's right over there.'"
The all-star cast also includes Sam Elliott, and Billy Bob Thornton will make a guest appearance. In addition to the remote locations, all of the actors are wearing authentic period clothing, and they spend long stretches on horseback, which has made filming in Texas especially challenging during the summer months.
"It's super dusty and super hot. There's no way around it," McGraw acknowledges. "At the same time, it's like every kid's fantasy to do something like this, to put your chaps on, your cowboy hat, and your gun holsters every day. Then you get on a horse and try to survive this journey."
It's even harder for Hill, who has to ride a horse western-style while dressed in an authentic corset.
"Although it looks amazing, it's terrible. I think I have a few ribs floating around in my body," she jokes, adding, "This is real work. I was raised by Edna Earl and Ted Perry, and they believed the best way to teach a child was to get your hands in the dirt. That's basically this in a nutshell. I think so many actors are drawn to Taylor's writing because he is portraying the story in a way that was lived. I gained so much respect for cowboys."
Yellowstone Season 4 will air on the Paramount Network beginning Nov. 7. 1883 is set to premiere on Dec. 19 on Paramount+. Subscribe to the streaming service to make sure you don't miss out.
Taste of Country will be covering both Yellowstone Season 4 and the first season of 1883 in-depth each week, including episode analysis, news on the shows, cast interviews and more.