‘1883’ Actor Sam Elliott’s Passionate Reason Why He Can Access His Tough and Soft Side on Screen

by Samantha Whidden

He’s known for his roles in TombstoneThe Big Lebowski, and A Star Is Born, and in a previous interview, 1883 co-star Sam Elliott reveals why he is able to access both his tough and soft side on screen. 

During a 2017 Q&A session with The Washington Post, Sam Elliott chats about the emotions he shows in the film Grandma.

“When it feels real, it feels good to deal with [resentment],” the veteran actor explains. “I truly believe that if it’s on the page, then it’s on the stage.”

Sam Elliott also reflects on what his Grandma co-star Lily Tomlin said to him while filming. “There was a moment when Lily leaned in close to me and said, ‘God, you’re making me feel like a real a—hole here.’ In true Lily fashion. What was her character doing in that movie? She was dragging her granddaughter around, looking for an abortion. My character had an opportunity to show the other side of that coin.”

Sam Elliott opens up about The Hero having the same kind of emotional tone as Grandma. There are two versions of the audition speech,” Elliott reveals. “One, when I’m doing it with [Nick] Offerman and he’s reading the part of my daughter. It’s kind of a joke because Lee falls apart in the audition scene later in the film. It was necessary that you saw in the reading of it with Nick.”

Sam Elliott States That Western Films Are Struggling 

Also during his Q&A session with The Washington Post, Sam Elliott shares his thoughts about the western film genre in the 21st century.

“It’s struggling. The last great western made in Hollywood was True Grit. The one the Coen brothers did with Jeff Bridges,” Elliott explains. He states there’s an audience for the genre and those people are the ones who voted for President Trump in 2016. 

“I’m not saying every western lover voted for Trump, but Hollywood dismisses the people in what they call the ‘flyover’ states,” Sam Elliott further clarifies. He also reveals what western actor Ben Johnson once told him while they were appearing together on The Sacketts. “[He told me] ‘I may not be a very good actor, but nobody can play Ben Johnson better than I can.’ I’ve heard people say, ‘There’s Sam Elliott doing the same sh— again.’ Playing another cowboy. Another slow-talking laconic whatever. So what?”

Elliott then says nobody will ever confuse with John Malkovich thanks to the roles he picks. “But nobody’s going to play Sam Elliott better than me,” he adds. 

Elliott is currently preparing for his new role in the upcoming anticipated Yellowstone prequel 1883. The prequel notably follows the Dutton family as they travel through the Great Plains towards the “last bastion of untamed America.”