When we think of Westerns in this day and age, two actors tend to come to mind: Kevin Costner and Sam Elliott. And thanks to the first Yellowstone prequel, 1883, we’ve now got both genre icons in the franchise.
The period Western will star Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as the headlining ancestral Duttons, but there’s no denying Sam Elliott as the main draw. As excellent as those two look in costume, Elliott looks effortless as he always has in 19th-century garb.
“Who’s ready for #1883TV? The Yellowstone origin story premieres Dec. 19 on Paramount Plus,” posts the prequel’s official Instagram Thursday. Within, Elliott is showcased in-character as Pinkerton Agent Shea Brennan.
The man was born in the wrong century. That’s lucky for us, however, as we wound up with Sam Elliott the Movie Star:
See? No one does it like Sam Elliott. The Western veteran’s Brennan is set to be a hard-nosed Pinkerton agent doubling as a wagon master. He’s also a Civil War Veteran; one that knows loss more than any other character on the show. In a recent interview, Elliott told Entertainment Weekly of this tremendous loss that kicks off his character’s journey.
“It haunts him throughout, along with the responsibility of moving these emigrants north,” Elliott tells EW.
Sam Elliott: ‘1883’ Holds ‘So Much Life’
Through this treacherous journey, audiences will meet dozens of dirty faces – all played by “tremendous” actors, Elliott says.
“They just pump so much life into this,” he continues. Through this energy, Elliott is fully confident fans will find 1883 a beast all its own, too, instead of “just a Yellowstone prequel.”
“You can call this a spin-off or a prequel to Yellowstone or whatever you want, but for my money, it stands on its own,” he offers. Indeed, the production quality Paramount brings to their series combined with 1883 set so far into the Duttons’ past, it’s sure to carve out a legacy all its own.
That quality and authenticity comes at a price, however.
“The first month was brutal… It was 100 degrees and not easy,” Elliott reveals; something his co-star Tim McGraw echoes.
“It’s super dusty and super hot. There’s no way around it,” McGraw told EW in the same interview. “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.”
1883 premieres on Paramount Network come December 19.