Sam Elliott Explained Why ‘The Searchers’ and ‘Red River’ are His Favorite Westerns, and Not Just Because of John Wayne

by Shelby Scott
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It is a well-known fact among Sam Elliott fans that the actor is a big fan of John Wayne. However, in a previous interview with Zoomer featuring his 2017 movie premiere “The Hero,” we get an inside scoop. Elliott reveals the real reasons why “The Searchers” and “Red River” are his favorite Western movies.

“‘Jimmy Stewart was my guy,'” he responds to interviewer Laura Grande, “‘and my favorite actor was probably Gary Cooper.'” Although in both Westerns, Elliott’s idol Wayne plays the protagonist, he reveals that both Stewart and Cooper were “‘guys that [he] most appreciated with the kinds of roles that they played.'”

Elliott is commonly identified on- and off-screen as a “lone-ranger, cowboy” type. In the interview, he reflects on his values both in his own life and as an actor with longevity. Much like his character Beau Bennet in the Netflix hit, “The Ranch,” Elliott is less concerned with his acting legacy. Instead, he works toward the legacy he hopes to leave his family once he’s gone; a family man indeed (Grande).

Sam Elliott is Truly a Down-to-Earth Guy

Like his favorite Western characters, Elliott is more involved with a genuine self-image. Both on and off-screen, he consistently represents a real, good-as-can-be human. “‘I’m more concerned in telling stories about real people and I always have been,” he reveals in the interview.

Despite what Grande called his “career renaissance,” Elliott is rather choosey when it comes to the parts he plays. That is, in addition to the genres of movies and shows he plays a role in. He admits he is wowed by modern Hollywood entertainment and ever-evolving special effects. However, he claims that once you see that kind of film, viewers are immediately able to detect the non-reality on-screen.

This differs when it comes to Elliott’s “guys” Jimmy Stewart and actor Gary Cooper in the star’s favorite Westerns. “‘They always seemed to be guys with real integrity in their lives,'” he said. And for Sam Elliott fans, they are well aware of his simple, down-to-earth personality.

So What Is ‘the Hero’ About, and Why Is It Such an Important Milestone in Elliott’s Career?

During his interview, Elliott let readers in on a lot of different aspects of the movie. One of the most remarkable is that director Brett Haley wrote “The Hero” with Elliott’s quiet, cowboy-like personality in mind. According to Grande, he in many ways plays a fictionalized version of himself.

Despite his rough outward appearance, we learned that Elliott was “totally flattered” to have an entire script written with him in mind.

Another interesting tidbit about “The Hero” is that Elliott worked on set with his wife, Katharine Ross. Strangely enough, they play parts as a divorced couple, which Elliott highlighted as a unique experience. It marked the 5th time the acting pair worked together on a piece.

Outsider.com