Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

1883's Eric Nelson Opens Up About The Scene That Had Him In Tears

Since its debut as the most-watched series premiere on new streaming service Paramount+ (via Deadline), "1883," the grim, western drama about a family's travels across the Great Plains looking for a better life in Montana, has been filled with tense and emotional moments. One aspect viewers loved watching during Season 1 was the unexpected pairing of Elsa Dutton (Isabel May) and Ennis (Eric Nelson).

When Elsa meets the cowboy Ennis, you can see the interest the two immediately have in each other, as they size each other up. As the couple gets closer, Elsa's parents react warily. Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill) tries to dissuade her daughter against the pairing, but eventually comes around, and gives her consent. Elsa's father, James Dutton (Tim McGraw) needs a bit more coaxing and sucker-punches Ennis when he learns about the pair. After the couple convinces him that their feelings are true, he also gives his blessing, telling Ennis to "cradle Elsa's heart like an egg and make sure it doesn't crack."

Ennis and Elsa are a bright, hopeful story throughout Season 1, especially after the drownings that took place when the travelers crossed the river. Eric Nelson opened up about what scenes he couldn't help crying, because of how emotional the story got.

Eric Nelson got very emotional during two pivotal scenes

Warning: major spoilers for Season 1 of "1883" ahead.

"Taylor [Sheridan] sent me the scripts and I read what happens at the end of [episode] five and I was heartbroken," Eric Nelson told Entertainment Tonight. In the process of trying to ward off bandits that attack the travelers, Ennis gets shot and falls off his horse. Before he dies, he tells James, "I loved her." When describing the filming of the moment, Nelson admitted it was difficult, "especially because I was supposed to be laying there dead...it was hard for me not to cry (via Entertainment Tonight)."

While Ennis's death is definitely a jolt to viewers, Nelson told the Dutton Rules Podcast that the fourth and fifth episodes were equally tough to film. In the fourth episode when Elsa begins playing a discarded piano as the group was trying to cross the river and people were drowning, he couldn't help but actually cry while actress Isabel May was playing. "She learned the entire Moonlight Sonata for the show, so she's actually playing the piece," he said. "Nine out of ten takes, I was bawling at the end, because I couldn't help it." They couldn't use one of the takes of him crying because he was "supposed to be a little stronger in the moment."

Nelson's character may have died, but given that his IMDb page shows that he's in all 10 episodes of Season 1, fans can take comfort in knowing that this isn't the last we'll see of Elsa's beloved Ennis.