‘1883’ Star LaMonica Garrett Discusses What It’s Like Working With ‘Icon’ Sam Elliott

by Lauren Boisvert

In conversation with Taste of Country, “1883” star LaMonica Garrett spoke about what it’s like working with a film icon like Sam Elliott. Elliott plays Shea Brennan on “1883,” a Pinkerton agent and Civil War veteran traveling with the wagon train. Garrett plays Thomas, Brennan’s partner and fellow veteran.

Of working with Elliott, Garrett said, “I mean, Sam’s an icon. You work with a Hollywood icon, you bring your game … you’ve gotta bring your A-game every day. Seeing how he shows up every day, his work ethic; he’s the first one there. He loves the process of filmmaking.”

Garrett revealed that Elliott often stays on set after his scenes are finished, and just observes the process and production. “He has his apple box, and he sits in the middle of all the madness going on, no matter where we are, and he just sees everything. He just talks to everyone. He’s just that kind of human being.”

‘1883’ Star LaMonica Garrett Discusses Sam Elliott

Sam Elliott sounds like the kind of down-to-earth guy you’d want to spend your time and just talk to. He probably has a lot of great stories. But, he’s also intimidating. Not on purpose, of course, but just by his gravitas and his skill. Garrett shared a story about the effect Elliott had on an extra in one of their scenes, an actress who played a waitress.

“You could see her hand shaking, because this is Sam Elliott here, and he has that effect on people,” said Garrett. “When they said, ‘Action,’ she came, and her hand was shaking, and she kind of overspilled. And she was so distraught, like, ‘Oh my god, people are gonna hate me, I ruined everything.’ Sam gets up — and no one sees this, I’m looking at it — Sam gets up and goes to her, and tells her something kind, I’m sure, whatever it was, And she had this big smile on her face. And the next take, she came, and she had a steady hand […] whatever he told her, it calmed her nerves, and that was the only hiccup she had the whole time.”

LaMonica Garrett had only praise for his “1883” co-star. He went on about Elliott, saying, “There’s always little things that I see that Sam’s doing like that. He did it with me, because it’s kind of intimidating working across Sam. But he brings everyone at ease.”

Sam Elliott is a Western icon, but he’s also more than just a cowboy. Sure, he plays cowboys exceptionally well, but he brings something personal to all his roles. Just by watching him, you can see how much care and respect he has for filmmaking, something that LaMonica Garrett definitely picked up on during his time filming with Elliott.