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1883 star Faith Hill had the honor of portraying Margaret, the matriarch of the Dutton family. Margaret had to be tough to survive the dangerous journey from Texas to Montana. Hill recently discussed her 1883 character and said Margaret reminds her of a very important person in her life.

Faith Hill as Margaret in 1883. Margaret wears a brown and white dress and a brown hat.
Faith Hill as Margaret of the Paramount+ original series ‘1883’ | Emerson Miller/Paramount+

Faith Hill discusses women on the perilous journey west

Faith Hill acted alongside her husband Tim McGraw while on the set of 1883. The pair portrayed an onscreen couple trying to move their family west in the hopes of a better life. Margaret herself was a nurse in the Civil War. She is familiar with life-or-death situations and not afraid to do what’s necessary to protect her family.

Hill discussed how women had to adapt on the journey west in order to survive in an interview with Reel School. “I think for the women, you basically had to then take on the responsibilities of what at that time a man would do. Pick up a gun and use it, and if you had never used it before you learned on the spot,” Hill said. “That’s just the way it was because it was about life or death — protecting your family.”

‘1883’ star Faith Hill says Margaret reminds her of her mother

Faith Hill portrayed an exceptionally tough woman in 1883. The actor discussed her character in an interview with Variety. “She reminds me of my mom,” Hill said of Margaret. “I was adopted and she was one of the strongest women I ever have encountered in my life. She died a few years ago, but her strength was just — nothing compares to it.”

Hill continued to praise her mother’s strength and discuss how hard she worked. “She was really, really smart and worked three jobs. My dad couldn’t read. He’s since passed too, but she was raising my two older brothers and me during a rough time.”

1883 star Tim McGraw as James and Faith Hill as Margaret of the Paramount+ original series
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill | Emerson Miller/Paramount+

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“She came from Philadelphia, Mississippi, right in the middle of the whole civil rights war going on there, right in the midst of it. She also picked cotton and worked so hard and had such a strong faith and belief that everyone should be treated equally. She believed to never judge someone until you walk in their shoes.”

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In the same interview, Faith Hill explained that her mother was a kind of inspiration while filming 1883. “I thought about my mom a lot when I was playing Margaret, along this journey that we were on with immigrants from around the world,” Hill told Variety. “I thought, when you love your family, you fight. You do whatever it takes to keep them safe. And obviously, I would do that in real life — if anyone messes with my kids, I will hurt you.”

Hill continued, discussing the perilous journey undertaken in 1883. “It was remarkable what people did, but that the common theme is the fact that we were all fighting for the same thing, protecting our family trying to find a better life for our family. When you come together, the things that you can do when you come together, you witness that on the trail.”

All episodes of 1883 are currently streaming on Paramount+.