They say that if you do something you love for a living you’ll never work a day in your life. Some people would say that you could fertilize a field with that advice. However, just because it feels like work doesn’t mean it’s not rewarding at the end of the day. Doing work that you love in an industry you’re proud of or passionate about is great. Sam Elliott is one of those people who is lucky enough to know this first hand.
In fact, you can be sure that Sam Elliott is never in a role just for a paycheck. It doesn’t matter if he’s narrating The Dude’s strife or advertising for the beef industry, Elliott only does work he believes in. So, that’s why you never see a phoned-in performance from Elliott. That makes his acting better for him as well as for those who are watching.
Back in 2017, Sam Elliott did an interview with The Guardian. During that interview, they discussed his career and how he stays true to himself in an ever-changing industry.
Sam Elliott Never Took A Job Just For Money
The conversation really started when the interviewer asked Sam Elliott about his time as the spokesman for beef. He wanted to know how Elliott stayed invested in those commercials. After all, it seems like it would be tough to do. For instance, listen to the radio spot below. Elliott names off a number of beef dishes. It almost brings to mind Bubba’s shrimp montage from Forest Gump.
Sam Elliott said he didn’t have a problem staying engaged in those ads. He loves the beef industry and has immense respect for those in the industry. On top of that, he knew his ads were helping. After Elliott started letting people know that beef was what was for dinner, sales went up.
Later, the interviewer asked what kind of conversations Sam Elliott had with his agent to ensure that he did worthwhile work without sacrificing more lucrative commercial jobs that would lead to more security in the future.
Sam Elliott was pretty frank about this. He said, “My security comes from the fact that I’ve never done a job for money.” He went on to say that doing commercial work also provided a certain amount of security. If he does commercial work that he finds worthwhile it gives him the financial freedom to pick and choose his acting roles. He said that by taking commercial gigs, he could avoid taking “the dramatic stuff, or the theatrical stuff … the acting work,” that he didn’t want to do.
Sam Elliott went on to say that he usually makes his own decisions on things. However, he does have a group of people who give him feedback and help to keep him grounded.
In the end, Sam Elliott doesn’t act for the paycheck. He is an actor because it was his dream to be one since he was a little kid. So, just know that when you see Elliott on screen, he is literally living his dream.