‘1883’ Star Isabel May Refuses to Go out While Working for a Very Good Reason

1883 may be the perfect job for Isabel May. They filmed the western out in the fields and ranches of Texas and Montana. There weren’t many creature comforts off the set and that’s just how May likes it. She doesn’t like to party when she’s working. 

'1883' star Isabel May doesn't go out while working
Isabel May | Emerson Miller/Paramount+

May was a guest on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast on April 14. As she discussed her process, May revealed why she focuses on the work and nothing else while she’s working on 1883 or anything else. 

Even before ‘1883,’ Isabel May did not party on location 

The cast of 1883 all agreed what a tough shoot it was. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill reported the freezing cold and lack of amenities like showers. But, even when May worked on the Netflix series Alexa & Katie, CBS comedy Young Sheldon, or movies like Run Hide Fight and I Want You Back, she was all about the work. 

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“I’m very much an introvert,” May said on Awards Chatter. “So I always keep to myself and I also, when it comes to being professional, I don’t care what environment I’m in. I don’t care if it’s a fun little comedy, I take it very seriously. I think you should always be professional and if you want to go to that karaoke bar, find another time to do it quite frankly. That’s just how I feel but to each their own.”

Isabel May doesn’t have a lot of free time 

May also gives everything she has on set. As you see on 1883, she’s coordinating love scenes, conveying the emotional turmoil over tragedy, riding horses, shooting guns and more. When she’s finished, May needs to recharge. That’s why she didn’t even visit the set when Tom Hanks guest starred.

“And I also just want to sleep,” May said. “I’m tired so I would go back to my room and sleep. Once people understand that, that it’s kind of the way I function and embrace it, it’s wonderful. They get you and they know when not to overstep and go into your little space because I’m an only child and I don’t like sharing.”

She still makes friends on set 

Don’t get the impression that May is antisocial. She still develops close bonds with her co-stars, including 1883‘s McGraw, Hill and Sam Elliott. However, May is up front about her own needs and won’t sacrifice them.

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“And also this bond that you share with someone you’ve had a remarkable experience doing a show for that amount of time, creating a family,” May said. “I’d always envisioned in my head while I was doing all these auditions as a 13, 14, 15-year-old the bonds you create on set, the friends you make.”

After a few successful jobs, May had to reframe acting from her hobby to her career. By 1883, May was a pro.

“I finally said, ‘No, this is your profession. You’re not only making an income but you’re actually doing something that you love that you want to do for the rest of your life hopefully, so own that. Be proud of that,’” May said.

RELATED: ‘1883’: Isabel May Only Watched 1 Episode Because Taylor Sheridan Forced Her To