On Taylor Sheridan’s 1883, veteran actor Sam Elliott plays Shea Brennan, a tough-as-nails cowboy tasked with leading a motley band of settlers to Montana. But in real life, Elliott is a sweet guy. At least, according to his co-star Eric Nelsen.
In a recent feature for Town and Country, Nelsen showed off a picture he took with Elliott at the Fort Worth Stockyards. And he described what it’s like hanging out with Elliott on set. The elder statesman of 1883 is apparently an actor’s actor, sticking around to support his castmates long after his scenes are done.
“Sam is probably the most down to earth, giving man you’ll ever meet,” Nelsen said. “He’s not one to hide out in his trailer. He loves to just be sitting out there with everybody. Even when he’s done filming and his scenes are wrapped, he hangs out, supports all of us, watches the rest of the scenes for the day.”
Sam Elliott Feels Lucky to Be in 1883
As for Elliott, he seems to be having the time of his life filming 1883. It’s not exactly a walk in the park to log 12-hour days in 108-degree heat. But Elliott sees his time on 1883 as a gift.
“I am right for retirement, born in ’44 but I have no intention of doing so,” he told the Boston Herald recently. “This is pretty special for sure, another great gift in my career. I first met Taylor maybe not quite a year ago. He talked to me about doing a little thing on Yellowstone. I felt the character was too old and wasn’t interested. So I passed on that. Taylor said something like, ‘Well, someday we’re going to work together.’ Six months or so went by and I got a call. Taylor said, ‘I’m going to do this show. I really love you. Come do it with me.’”
So Sheridan started sending Elliott scripts for 1883 as he was writing them. The actor called it “such incredible material.” He said any actor who cares about the words on the page would have a hard time turning Sheridan down.
“He’s complicated, which makes him a lot of fun to play,” Elliott added of his 1883 character. It’s a high compliment coming from a veteran of so many Westerns, an Oscar nominee and a Golden Boot Award winner to boot.
But if fans want to see Elliott in action, they’ll just have to tune in to 1883, which streams Sundays on Paramount+.