For many viewers, one moment in particular late in the 2018 film sealed this nomination for Elliott. And as it turned out, the two actor’s exchange was an unscripted, “wonderful moment.”
As part of their 2018 press tour for the film, Sam Elliott spoke with Yahoo Entertainment. One of the famously rugged actor’s is now resurfacing several years on for the the sheer emotion it brings out.
Fans of Elliott will surely know the scene before it’s even recounted. Towards the end of ‘A Star Is Born,’ brothers Jackson (Cooper) and Bobby (Elliott) have what would become their final talk in Bobby’s pick-up truck on the way back to Jackson’s house. Just before Jackson exits their chat, he lets his older brother and manager know that it wasn’t their long-dead father he idolized and modeled his entire career after – but Bobby himself.
It’s a remarkably poignant exchange that, as Sam Elliott reveals, was unscripted and pulled him completely into the moment. So much so, in fact, that simply recounting it to Yahoo Entertainment brought tears to his eyes once more.
Elliott’s tear-filled, bloodshot eyes haunted viewers then, and still do to this day (including this author, who was lucky enough to watch the moment unfold with Bradley Cooper at a press junket in 2018, where the actor/director became equally emotional discussing this moment).
“This speaks of Bradley [as an] actor-director,” Elliott begins to Yahoo in their interview. “We pulled into the driveway after having the words on the road, and then the door opened, and Bradley just stood there and he kind of hemmed and hawed and I wasn’t sure what was going to come out of his mouth. I knew the gist of it, but I didn’t really know what he was going to say,” he reveals.
“And then he said what he said, and shut the door, and was out of the shot. And somebody handed him a little monitor…”
Sam Elliott Tears Up Recounting Remarkable Scene with Bradley Cooper
All of a sudden, Bradley had switched from actor to director. But Elliott “was still trying to be in the moment” of the emotional sequence.
“…But I was watching [Cooper] walk around [the truck] and he was looking at this monitor. The monitor was of the camera behind me. And the only reason I turned around was to back out of the shot. It wasn’t to [show my face]. That’s where I was at the moment.”
The trademark, deep baritone of Sam Elliott’s voice cracks as he recalls their improvisation.
“I figured we were going to do another take. And he just said, ‘No, man. We got it,” he reveals as he wipes a tear from his eye. “That was the first take.”
For Elliott, the tear-filled exchange was “one of those wonderful moments that you get to have or you don’t. There were a lot of those moments in this piece, and it’s because of Bradley’s ability to create that environment and give you the chance to get at that truth. He’s a wonderful director.”
Watch Sam Elliott further discuss the “brilliance” of ‘A Star Is Born’ and it’s director, Bradley Cooper, below: