“1883” star Eric Nelsen opened up in a recent interview about what it’s like working with the legendary Sam Elliott. When it comes to stoic military or cowboy types, it doesn’t get much more iconic than Elliott. The 77-year-old star has over 100 credits as an actor according to his IMDB page.
Elliott even appeared as The Marlboro Man in the 2005 film “Thank You For Smoking.” If you’ve looked at a screen in the last few decades, chances are you’ve watched Elliott in something.
With decades of experience, it makes perfect sense that Elliott was cast for a role in “1883.”
Including a seasoned western staple like Elliott means younger actors around him can certainly learn. The show offers such a unique blend of actors, including many who haven’t acted much at all before. For Eric Nelsen, “1883” presented a chance for him to work with and learn from Elliott, one of his idols. In an interview with Wide Open Country, Nelsen was asked what it’s been like taking on a western role alongside “an icon of westerns and cinema” like Elliott.
‘1883’ Star Eric Nelsen Says He’s a ‘Mega Fan’ Of Sam Elliott
“I’m just like you — mega fan of Sam Elliott,” Nelsen gushes. “He was everything in my eyes. So when I first found out he was in the show, I freaked out of course. You go through your stages of ‘I hope they’re everything I hope they are.’ …Have an imagination of what they might be in real life and who they might be… You just want them to be great people because you’re such a fan and you hope for the best. You meet them, and sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren’t,” Nelsen said.
We’ve all certainly met people who defied our hopes and expectations of who we thought they were. However, it sounds like Sam Elliott is just as awesome off-screen as most of us imagine. Eric Nelsen says, “Sam Elliott is the most genuine, kind, loving, bighearted man I ever met in my entire life. So all the nerves and anxiety of meeting one of your idols went right out the window the first second I met him.”
Nelson continues, recalling that the first time he met Elliott he didn’t get a chance to introduce himself or go in for a handshake. “He just gave me the biggest hug,” Nelsen recalls. “And he’s like, ‘I’m so excited to be on this journey with you…this is gonna be so much fun’…”
There’s also extra good news for “1883” fans– Elliott is just as excited to talk to you as you are him! In talking about Elliott, Nelsen added that “Everybody he talked to, whether it was an extra or a lead or even people on the street, he loves to hear from fans. He loves to stop and talk to people and he really just has heart.”