Sam Elliott Explains Why He Wanted To Star In “1883”
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Sam Elliott was made for Westerns. The 77-year-old actor has already starred in a number of them, including Tombstone, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Conagher.
Now, Elliott is one of the stars of the new series 1883. The show is a prequel to the immensely popular Yellowstone series, and follows the Dutton family as they travel to their eventual home in Montana.
Elliott plays Shea Brennan, a Pinkerton agent and war veteran who is tasked with leading the Duttons and their travel party to their new homeland. It’s revealed in the series’ first episode that Brennan lost two of his family members in a devastating way. He struggles to cope with their loss long afterward.
During an interview with Looper and other outlets, Elliott explained how 1883 is unlike any other project he’s worked on before:
“This is the biggest thing I’ve ever worked on, whether a Western, a contemporary film, or television show. They’ve got a massive amount of money, which brings a massive amount of moving parts. It’s the biggest crew I have ever worked with. I’ve never worked on anything that had six cameras running at the same time. We’ve traveled a lot. We’ve been all over the state of Texas. We went to Montana. And we’re going to finish on the Oregon coast in mid-January. It’s massive.”
Elliott also said he was a big fan of show creator Taylor Sheridan’s writing, calling him, “brilliant.” He repeated the same comment to Deadline when asked why he wanted to star in 1883.
After being in so many Westerns throughout his career, Elliott said he turned down many others out of fear of being typecast. But after he read the first pages of 1883‘s script, he knew he had to be involved in the show:
“I knew [Sheridan’s] work as an actor, and because of his films. ‘Sicario,’ for starters,” Elliott explained. “The thing he did with Jeff [Bridges, who starred in the Sheridan-written movie ‘Hell or High Water’] blew me away. The guy writes brilliant stuff. I love his dialogue. I love that it’s spare and he doesn’t waste a lot of words. That speaks to me. At the same time, it’s intelligent, insightful. It’s all those things that an actor would love to do and it’s always fun to see yourself in some role that’s more interesting than you are personally. That is such a gift.”
We’re glad that Elliott accepted the role in 1883, because we couldn’t imagine anyone else as Shea Brennan.