Sam Elliott Nearly Passed on ‘The Ranch’ Over One Major Concern: Here’s Why

by Katie Maloney

Actor Sam Elliott was concerned about this one detail from the show The Ranch.

With his handlebar mustache and low, commanding voice, Sam Elliott is the perfect actor to play a gritty, country curmudgeon. Apparently, Hollywood producers feel the same way because Elliot has acted in almost 100 different roles for the past five decades. Most recently, Elliott starred on the Netflix original series, The Ranch. The show ran for eight seasons from 2016-2020 and starred Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, and Sam Elliott. The Ranch follows brothers Colt (Kutcher) and Rooster Bennett (Masterson), who move back to Colorado to help run the cattle ranch owned by their father Beau (Elliott). But, Elliott almost didn’t accept the role. During an interview in 2016, Sam Elliott revealed why he almost turned down the role of Beau on The Ranch.

“These guys [the creators] took a shot at me to see if I’d do it,” said Elliott. “And then I called Don Reo [one of the creators] and said I couldn’t do it. Then he came up to my house and we talked and then I got back on board.”

Elliott said that tapping the show in front of a live audience deterred him at first.

“I was terrified when we first started. That’s one of the reasons I passed up on it,” said Elliott.

He added that he also questioned the family’s drinking habits when he first read the script.

“That was a big question mark for me in the beginning,” said Elliott. “But there’s a certain reality to it. Who am I to judge?”

The Ranch Was Sam Elliott’s First Starring Role on a Comedy Series

Sam Elliott has certainly made a name for himself with movies like Tombstone, Buffalo Girls, A Star Is Born, and The Big Lebowski. However, it wasn’t until he landed the role of Beau on The Ranch that he really got to show off his comedy chops. One of the things that attracted Elliott to the role was his co-stars including Ashton Kutcher. During an interview in 2017, Sam Elliott shared what it was like working in his first comedy role.

“The thing that most attracted me to this show was the people that I was going to have the opportunity to work with…The thought that all of a sudden I’m doing a four-camera show and working with people that have proven themselves in this genre for so many years is a pretty astounding thing for me personally,” said Elliott.”

Luckily, he was a natural when it came to comedic timing. Elliott said that it was easy to pull from the humor throughout his life.

“I just think life is funny, you know. I mean, not that it’s ha ha funny, but it’s often funny, and I think that comes out of perspective,” said Elliott. “So, I’m always kind of looking for the – maybe as you say, I’m not sure about searching it, but … it’s a real joy to go to work and make people laugh, I must say. And this is the first time I’ve really had an opportunity to do that. I mean, I find that a real gift.”