'1883': Isabel May on Aftermath of Ennis' Heartbreaking Death and Elsa's Challenges Ahead (Exclusive)

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Elsa Dutton has revenge on the brain.

Following the devastating death of her love, Ennis, in the latest episode of Paramount+'s 1883, the daughter of James and Margaret Dutton is struggling to pick up the pieces as she navigates life without her partner by her side. As actress Isabel May, who plays Elsa, told ET's Cassie DiLaura earlier this week, it was one of the most "difficult" scenes she had to film on the series thus far.

"It was a very emotional scene. It's really heartbreaking and I love Eric [Nelsen] so much, who plays Ennis," May recalled. "He's one of the loveliest human beings on Earth. Man, is that guy great. So to see him dead on the ground, it just wanted to make me sob because that is a terrible sight to see."

Adding to the moment was Elsa's unrelenting cry when she saw a dying Ennis on the ground, shot to death by a nameless bandit. Though that scene itself was a brutal one for the character to endure, May actually found some enjoyment out of the possibility of what may come now that Elsa is forced to forge a path ahead alone. (Read what Nelsen had to say about Ennis' death.)

"I may sound like a masochist but I like stuff like that. I have a very nice, wonderful, happy life -- I'm so fortunate to live that life -- and therefore it's really interesting to me to have to put yourself in that kind of situation where you're experiencing such raw emotions," the actress said. "I certainly hope I never find myself in that position personally, selfishly, but it is very fun to dip your toes into that. But grief is a challenging emotion for sure, especially experiencing so many different types of grief at the same time and then ultimately revenge, which is the most satisfying."

Prior to Ennis' death, the couple consummated their romance with an intimate evening together. And it appeared as though Elsa's father, the intimidating James (Tim McGraw), finally acknowledged Elsa and Ennis' relationship. With Ennis now gone, a theory that's percolating among viewers is whether Elsa could be pregnant with his baby. 

"Yeah, that would be a bit of a doozy, wouldn’t it?" May said. "I don’t know, I can't say. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? You’ll find out this Sunday, I suppose. That question may or may not be answered. This is me trying to be trickster, to be coy!"

"That would make it a little more challenging wouldn’t it?" she added later. "Obviously I can’t say anything about whether or not that happens but it would certainly make the journey a tad more treacherous and I would not want to have a baby on the way if I were trying to work with everything else happening so we'll see." May did say welcoming new life into the world just as another was lost would be meaningful. "It would be precious in the sense that she lost someone, but she also gains someone. That would be symbolic, I agree with you."

But what would it be like to have to carry a baby bump under the costumes if the storyline were to go that direction?

"Brutal!" the 21-year-old actress exclaimed. "I give so much credit to women who had to carry a child at that time. Fortunately, Elsa isn’t wearing a dress anymore. In [episodes] 4 and 5, she gets to wear those very large pants and I’m not going to lie, I did feel like I was wearing a diaper just a tad because they were so massive on me. But it's OK, it's fine. They aren’t that flattering but again, not supposed to be so [I] embraced that. So maybe the pants will be a little more comfortable to be in with a growing child. But yeah, a dress seems like the wrong way to go when carrying a kid." 

This week's episode features a cameo by Rita Wilson, who joins as Carolyn, a storekeeper at Dutton's Crossing. (Her husband, Tom Hanks, guest starred as General George Meade in a flashback.) Unfortunately, May was not present for many of the big-name guest stars, but was able to share time with Wilson offscreen.

"I wasn’t there when Billy Bob [Thornton] was there. I wasn’t there when Tom was there. I was a little bummed out about it," she admitted. "But I did get to interact with her. Tom and Rita are really good friends with Tim [McGraw] and Faith [Hill]. I think that’s how they got involved in this project at all is their relationship with Tim and Faith, so it was really nice to see Faith and Rita just laughing and enjoying each other."

New episodes of 1883 drop Sundays at 12:01 a.m. PT/3:01 a.m. ET on Paramount+. For more, watch below.

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