‘1883’ Star Eric Nelsen Explains Why He Was Nervous Working With Sam Elliott

by Anna Dunn

1883 actor Eric Nelsen said he “would be lying” if he said he wasn’t “a little bit” intimidated by his famous co-star, Sam Elliott. Nelsen has been in the entertainment business for a while. However, Sam Elliott cemented himself as a legend among fans of westerns. Meeting him was no doubt intimidating for Nelsen.

Nelsen had to work with a lot of incredibly well-known, respected people on set, but he had a lot of scenes with Elliott. Seeing as Nelsen is newer to the Western genre, he was asked if he felt intimidated in a recent interview.

The interview with Cowboys and Indians had Ennis actor talking about his experiences working on 1883, the Taylor Sheridan-penned Yellowstone sequel.

“Intimidated may be the wrong word, but he’s got this aura and this greatness to him. And his body of work just embodies everything I would ever want in a career,” Nelsen explained. Nelsen, who was still finding his footing, was absolutely thrilled when he saw 1883 on his desk. He’s a fan of westerns, and his whole family loved watching Yellowstone during the pandemic.

Little did he know, he’d get the part, and he’d work right alongside Sam Elliott.

“So that alone just kind of… Well, it’s not like they’re unapproachable. But you expect people like that to be a certain way, and you’re almost nervous,” he said. “Because if you get to know them and they let you down and they’re not who you think they should be, or who you want them to be in real life, it would disappoint you.”

Eric Nelsen Wasn’t Disappointed When He Met Sam Elliott

Thankfully, Nelsen said that Sam Elliott didn’t disappoint him and that he was great to work with. He was nervous going into it and felt like he was walking on eggshells. But Sam Elliott made him feel right at home.

“I’m pretty sure the first day he wrapped his arms around me and gave me the biggest hug and said, ‘Let’s do this, buddy. We’re going to nail it.’ And so, from that moment on, I was like, ‘You’re amazing, and you’re giving, and you’re kind, and you’re everything I wanted you to be. And I didn’t need to be nervous around you at all.’ And he made that very clear from the first moment,” Nelsen said.

1883‘s entire first (and probably last) season is out on Paramount+ if you haven’t checked it out yet. It follows an early generation of Duttons heading west. It stars not only Sam Elliott but Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, who play the determined James and Margaret Dutton.