The real-life husband and wife join EW's The Awardist podcast to talk about their first acting project together, playing James and Margaret Dutton on the Yellowstone prequel series.

1883 (TV series)

Tim McGraw remembers the conversation he and wife Faith Hill had when the deal was hammered out for them to star in Taylor Sheridan's Yellowstone prequel series 1883.

"We sort of gave each other a high five and a kiss and signed the contract," he recalls on the latest episode of EW's The Awardist podcast, saying the duo — who also played husband and wife, James and Margaret Dutton, on the series — knew they had a hard job ahead of them, but even then, they couldn't properly prepare for how physical filming was going to be.

They spent their 25th anniversary shooting one of those scenes — an intense river crossing that was filmed on location, at 4 a.m. in cold water. "It was, hands down, one of the most terrifying [scenes to shoot]," Hill says. "I thought I was going to cross maybe at the river's edge or something. I didn't realize that it was going to be literally going across this river. [Taylor said], 'That was real Western right there, girl.'"

McGraw and Hill also reveal what they learned about each other working on their first project outside of music together, and what drives them, family being a big motivation. Which is why, in large part — spoiler alert — filming the finale was particularly hard for the parents of three grown daughters who aren't much older than their onscreen daughter, Elsa (Isabel May), who narrates the series.

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in '1883'
| Credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+

"There's a few places within the series that I seriously can not even speak about because I had to go to such places to get what was needed," Hill explains, fighting back tears as she speaks about Elsa's death. "That was tough, what she said. 'See you in the valley.' ... I can't imagine not being with my child in their final moments of life."

McGraw, who describes himself as a pretty easy crier, says emotions were running high the day he and May filmed her final scene, sitting under a tree in Montana. "We shot it maybe three or four times. The very first time, Isabel and I both were just a blubbering mess," McGraw recalls. "The scene that we ended up using — and I think it was the next to the last take we took — she's laying on my lap and we're getting ready to shoot and she just looks up at me and says, 'What's the thing you love most about your daughters?' And then they said, 'action,' and it just tore me apart."

You can hear that full conversation in the latest episode of the Awardist podcast (below, or check out the video above), where EW editor in chief Mary Margaret is the guest co-host, talking about the state of Emmy campaigning, and we break down the lead actor in a limited/anthology series or TV movie, with contenders including Michael Keaton (Dopesick), Andrew Garfield (Under the Banner of Heaven), and Oscar Isaac (Scenes From a Marriage and Moon Knight).

Check out more from EW's The Awardistfeaturing exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best in TV.

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1883 (TV series)

The gritty Yellowstone prequel takes fans back in time to meet the ancestors of Kevin Costner's powerful John Dutton.

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