1883’s LaMonica Garrett Confirms What We Suspected All Along About Taylor Sheridan’s On-Set Behavior – Exclusive
Multi-hyphenate television and movie creative Taylor Sheridan burst onto the scene in 2015 as the writer of the Oscar-nominated film “Sicario” and has quickly built a Hollywood empire — one whose cornerstone is the wildly popular television series “Yellowstone.” Since premiering in 2018, the Kevin Costner-led project has ballooned into an entity that has provided record-breaking numbers for the Paramount Network and already spun off into one hit show — “1883,” now on Paramount+ — with two other spin-offs in the works. It’s certainly an enviable position to be in, but not one that has gone to Sheridan’s head.
From Kelly Reilly and Jefferson White of “Yellowstone” to Billy Bob Thornton and Eric Nelsen of “1883,” everyone in the Sheridan universe seems to gush about their boss. And “1883” star LaMonica Garrett is no exception. During an exclusive interview with Looper, Garrett — who plays former Buffalo Soldier Thomas in the 19th century “Yellowstone” prequel — explained exactly why Sheridan is such a great guy to work for.
Taylor Sheridan 'will never ask you to do anything that he wouldn't do'
In addition to writing, producing, and directing, Taylor Sheridan is also an actor to boot, having starred on “Sons of Anarchy” and “Veronica Mars” and made cameo appearances on both “Yellowstone” and “1883.” And those acting chops, according to actor LaMonica Garrett, are what help set Sheridan apart from other showrunners.
“When you’re a writer, a producer, a director, a filmmaker, and you have that background in acting, there’s a way to communicate with actors to get through to them, and Taylor knows that language,” Garret told Looper. “Taylor will never ask you to do anything that he wouldn’t do. Even during cowboy camp [in preparation for ‘1883’], he set the tone for work ethic. He was the first one out there, in 100+ degrees. He wasn’t sitting in a cooling tent yelling at us to do certain things and to go here and to go there. He was the first one on a horse and he was out there wrangling with us.”
One example of how this hands-on approach creates a desirable work environment for actors came while filming the first episode of “1883.” There’s a scene where Thomas and Shea (Sam Elliott) first meet James Dutton (Tim McGraw), who had just killed some bandits in a shootout. Thomas tells James not to take the horse, or the bandits’ buddies will come after him, so he lets the horse run off. What happened next is what makes Sheridan so down-to-earth and beneficial to work with.
“When Taylor said ‘cut,’ there’s dozens of wranglers that could have went and got that horse,” said Garrett. “That horse took off. He hit the grass and he was gone. Taylor jumped on his horse and rode out as fast as I’ve seen anyone ride a horse, and he roped that horse and brought [it] back, and then started setting up the next shot. His hand’s in everything. When you see the main guy in charge of all this have that kind of work ethic and care for what goes into everything, it bleeds off into everybody. It set the tone for a good work environment.”
All 10 episodes of “1883” are now streaming exclusively on Paramount+.