Faith Hill on the ‘Difficult’ Process of Growing Out Her Armpit Hair for ‘1883’

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Faith Hill on the ‘Difficult’ Process of Growing Out Her Armpit Hair for ‘1883’
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  • Faith Hill revealed she had to stop shaving her underarms to get into character as Margaret Dutton in 1883.

  • “It really grossed me out, I have to say,” she said. “All due respect to those who love that.”

  • The entire 1883 cast committed to the rough nature of the story, including Hill’s husband Tim McGraw, who at one point stopped showering for his role.

The post-Civil War era wasn’t exactly Venus ComfortGlide savvy. Hence why, against Faith Hill’s best interest, she had to stop shaving in preparation to play Margaret Dutton in the Yellowstone prequel 1883. The country star opened up about roughing it for the part in a recent Variety Actors on Actors discussion with Courteney Cox.

If you’re not familiar, the Paramount Plus series follows Margaret and her husband James (played by Hill’s real-life husband, Tim McGraw) on their voyage to settle the Dutton family in Texas, where the Yellowstone Ranch is born.

“I heard that to be authentic, people had to grow their hair under their arms,” Cox inquired. Hill nodded: “That was really difficult,” she said. And of course, to achieve a realistic length, the new hygiene routine had to start long before filming.

“[Director] Taylor [Sheridan] actually called my husband. We were at a wedding, our nephew’s wedding, and he said, ‘Who’s gonna be the one to tell your wife that she has to stop shaving under her arms?’” Hill recalled. “And I’m thinking can this wait? He goes, ‘No, stop tonight.’”

It wasn’t exactly news the “Breathe” singer wanted to hear. “It really grossed me out, I have to say,” she said. “All due respect to those who love that, and, and all that freedom, woo! But for me personally...”

It didn’t help that, on top of Hill’s new grooming practices (or lack thereof), she was suited up in 19th century clothing, and it got hot on-set. But the entire cast was committed.

“The actresses are all in corsets … riding horses or driving wagons, and the men are all in wool with the heat and the elements, and you can really feel how taxing it was,” the show’s costume designer Janie Bryant told The Hollywood Reporter last year. “Think about a hundred-degree weather and wearing a camisole, corset, bloomers, bustle pad, petticoat and then putting a costume on top of that. I applaud them for being for going with it.”

In Hill’s opinion, her husband McGraw took his dedication a little too far when he stopped showering to stay in character. “As the show progressed, I wanted him to look more and more haggard, and more and more tired, and more and more sleep-deprived,” he said on the Just for Variety podcast. “I think we accomplished that one. There were a few times that my wife forced me to take a shower while we were shooting.”

He continued: “She’s like: I don’t care about Method [acting]. You stink!”

In the show, the pair did bathe at least once—together, on-camera, which was another daunting experience for Hill. “It was really uncomfortable for me personally because I’m a very shy person in that type of situation,” she told People of the steamy bathtub scene. “I obviously feel comfortable with my husband, but this is different. For intimate scenes, I feel like that belongs to us.”

Thankfully, she put her trust in Sheridan, and admitted that the scene, just like the rest of the show, “turned out beautiful.”

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