Rattlesnakes. Fatal river-crossings. Bandits. And now tornadoes for good measure. Mother Nature dealt a backhand to our brave, if not woefully-unprepared pioneers in the latest episode of 1883 on Paramount+ — the hit prequel to Yellowstone.
By now, we’re used to seeing the group in constant peril, all under the watchful eyes of Tim McGraw’s James Dutton, Sam Elliott’s Shea Brennan and LaMonica Garrett’s Thomas: A former Buffalo Soldier-turned-Pinkerton Agent.
“He’s a Black cowboy with a badge and a gun,” Garrett tells ABC Audio. “Sign me up to see what that’s about in that time period regardless of what else is going on!”
“We were one-in-four cowboys back in the day and that wasn’t shown in television, film and Hollywood,” Garrett adds. “There’s so many stories, there’s so many legends in the Black cowboy culture that have never seen the light of day.”
Garrett, who’s had starring roles in shows like Sons of Anarchy, Designated Survivor and The Flash, was raised on a steady diet of old-school western shoot-em-ups.
“And you don’t realize, growing up that you didn’t really see people that looked like you on these shows,” he says. “So doing the research and you realize the representation that wasn’t there all throughout these years in a genre that I love…It’s huge. Like you see this gaping hole that we weren’t a part of.”
Garrett says his 1883 role is one that honors the past, while moving ahead with a newfound sense of representation. “To bring Thomas to life, this strong character with dignity, and pride, and strength…and he has his own code that he lives by and if you cross it, he takes care of it.” (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)
New episodes of 1883 are available Sundays on Paramount+.
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