As one of the biggest stars on the cast of 1883, Sam Elliott brought his character Shea Brennan to life right on the screen. He was a complicated figure. One that was stricken with trauma, recent and decades old. His story is one of the most exciting and interesting in the series.
After the death of Ennis, Elsa Dutton is distraught. And, really, that’s an understatement! First, she loses her cousin early on in the journey, then her aunt takes her own life, then her first love is killed. That’s when she finds herself in a similar spot that her aunt was in.
That’s when Shea stepped in with this little piece of advice.
“I know how you feel, a lot of people are going to tell you that,” Shea tells Elsa. “Whether it’s the truth or not, I don’t know… But I know it’s true when I say it.” Of course, he’s talking about the death of his wife and daughter. While it is one of the first scenes of the series, it is something Shea keeps inside mostly. Except for this time, he didn’t.
Reflecting back on this particular episode, Sam Elliott says it is his favorite scene:
“That’s one of my favorite scenes,” he says. “Shea tells her a story that he’s heard from an Apache scout which is a great tale. He’s trying to make Elsa come out of her gloom that she’s immersed herself in and at the same time he shows a glimpse of what it is that’s driving him to Oregon.”
The cast of 1883 had a thing or two to learn before taking on this period piece! Taylor Sheridan brought everyone to his ranch and put them to work riding, roping, sorting cattle, you name it! Check it out here!