#TX VOICES: Emma Malouff Talks About Her Journey From Ballet to her Role as Mary Abel Dutton in “1883”

by Bob Valleau on November 14, 2022 in Entertainment,

Actress Emma Malouff shares with us how her love of ballet led to her passion to act. She co-stars as Mary Abel Dutton, the niece of Margaret and James Dutton (portrayed by Faith Hill and Tim Mcgraw), in Taylor Sheridan’s popular “1883” TV series.


Emma Malouff’s acting career began at an early age. “Ever since I can remember, my bent has always been toward acting. As a little girl, I would put on costumes and retreat into my imagination, reenacting scenes I saw in films. I was obsessed with watching film commentary done by the director and actors, and dreamed about being on set.”

Emma Malouff began her career as a performer when she began ballet at age four, and even danced with Ballet Austin. Photo Dylan Perlot, Exclusive Artists

A Ballet Beginning

Emma’s path toward celebrity status started when she danced for others during intermission at a local theater that was presenting a ballet production. “When I was three years old, my grandparents took me to see Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. I remember sitting in my seat while being serenaded by the orchestra, captivated by the magical story, and the young ballerina who played Clara. During intermission, I became Clara and danced in the lobby for all of the fellow attendees. 

“For 12 years, I pursued ballet, chasing the excitement that came with performing on stage. I loved putting on the costumes, transforming into a character, and telling a story through the graceful movement of ballet. 

“However, I later realized that my heart was drawn to the acting side of ballet. I was in love with storytelling, and I sought to evoke connection and emotion from an audience through my performance. So, at age 15, I took the very difficult step of leaving dance behind, and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.”

Missing Texas

Even though she lives in California now, Texas holds a special place in Emma’s heart. “I love Texas so much! Some of my fondest childhood memories and deepest friendships are rooted there. Texas is filled with some of the kindest people you will ever meet, and let’s not forget some of the best food you will ever have! If there is one thing I miss about Texas when I am in LA, it’s the food.”  


 The invitation to act in Taylor Sheridan’s popular TV series “1883” (the prequel to “Yellowstone”) was a surprise, but welcome, invite. It gave Emma a chance to showcase some of her acting skills. “Let me start by saying, Taylor Sheridan is such a masterful artist. His storytelling is pure poetry, and my time on 1883 was incredibly rewarding. The cast and crew were among some of the most talented and genuine people I have ever met. It felt like we were one big family, creating a beautiful, thrilling story together, and that is due to Taylor’s approach. We laughed together and cried together, and I look forward to hopefully working with these incredible individuals again. And I would consider myself lucky to experience a similar culture of family, like the one in 1883, on a future project. 

Emma has several state titles in the National Miss Pageants, where her talent for singing opera helped her place in the top ten. Photo Dylan Perlot, Exclusive Artists

“From my first audition, I could tell this project was something special, and when I began working, it surpassed all of my dreams and expectations. I play Mary Abel Dutton, the niece of Margaret and James Dutton, portrayed by Faith Hill and Tim Mcgraw. Yellowstone is one of my all-time favorite shows, and I pinch myself at the fact that I am a member of the Dutton family. From the intricate attention to detail in the sets, costumes, hair, and makeup, not to mention the breathtaking performances, 1883 allowed me to stretch myself as an actor and experience a sliver of a time I have only read about in books. When I was in elementary school, my friends and I used to play Little House on the Prairie, so when I buttoned up my dress for the first time and walked on set, third grade Emma was freaking out. I could not be more grateful for the relationships, the growth, the inspiration, and the joy 1883 gave to me.” 

A Peculiar Passion

Aside from acting, Emma has another passion that she loves and finds rewarding. “A fun fact about me is that I am a classically trained Opera singer. I have always loved to sing, and I wanted to take the next step in training classically. So, I did, and I love it!”

Downtime Rituals 

Emma loves giving to others – especially family and friends. However, she also takes time for herself. “I absolutely love to host! I love inviting people over to cook and bake for them, planning fun games, watching films together and having good conversations. There is something so special about gathering as family, friends, and community, and it just does my heart so good. In my spare time, you can also find me on a good walk or swimming in the ocean.”

Watch for Emma in the upcoming feature film, Aimee directed by Lee Whitaker. Photo Dylan Perlot, Exclusive Artists

Inspiring Others

Emmas’ advice to others who want to follow their dreams: “Be grateful and be kind. That would be my advice. Whether you are just starting your career or several years in, no matter how big or how small the role, be grateful for everything and be kind to everyone. As young actors, we all have big dreams of certain roles, and I understand how difficult it can be to remain present and focus on others when we feel those dreams may not be close enough. However, don’t take any moment for granted because one act of kindness or a moment of gratitude during a long day on set can change your perspective, and you never know what friendships you may form and what lessons you may learn about the craft and yourself.” 

Believe in Yourself

“My grandmother just recently passed away from cancer, and she believed in me more than I believed in myself. She constantly prayed and encouraged me, and now, I have found a deeper motivation to continue acting. To honor her in everything I do and to make her proud is what inspires me.”







Cover Photo Dylan Perlot, Exclusive Artists

Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.