The national treasure that is Sam Elliott was actually offered a tole on “Yellowstone” once. However, Elliott turned it down. He would later end up on the series’ prequel “1883.” And that’s lucky for us fans, because Capt. Shea Brennan couldn’t e played by anyone else. However, Elliott spoke about turning Taylor Sheridan down for the initial role and why.
In an early morning interview on the TODAY Show, Elliott made an appearance from his home in Los Angeles. He spoke to the show hosts about “1883” and the wild west. When asked about getting an offer for “Yellowstone,” Elliott said turning down the role “wasn’t a big deal.”
This is because “it was a really small role” and he had other projects going on at the time. Elliott said that when Sheridan approached him about it, he wasn’t too worried about taking the role or not. The “1883” actor says that it was something that Sheridan more or less discussed with him – but that the role was minuscule and it wasn’t a huge deal to turn it down.
Sam Elliott on Accepting “1883” Role
However, Elliott also says that Sheridan said he really wanted to work with Elliott in the future, so when he called about “1883” and Shea Brennan, Elliott hopped on board.
And he beautifully plays the part of the Civil War-era leader. Alongside Thomas (Lamonica Garrett), the two leaders are lovable, stoic characters taking us on this journey across the plains.
While filming the first season of Sheridan’s Western drama, Elliott discussed the highs and lows of recreating such a world.
“I think the hell of it is just dealing with the elements, more than anything,” he said. “There were times where it was like 108 degrees down there in Fort Worth, where we first started. We’re out in the sun all day long, we’re wearing wool jackets, and the immigrants are wearing layers and layers of wool clothes.”
The “1883” star also adds:
“Then we go up to Montana,” Elliott continued, “and it’s f—ing freezing cold, I mean cold. And I don’t have a lot of clothes on, I’m wearing like a pair of pants and a jacket for most of the thing, and a vest and a shirt. We got layered up out there, of course. But there were times where it rained just enough to get wet, and then it started to ice up. And I just remember thinking, ‘what the f–k, man, am I gonna die on this trail?’”
However, Elliott came to embrace the harshness of his surroundings because he wanted to be a part of that story. The Oscar winning actor says that once he accepted things were going to get a little uncomfortable, it was easier to tell the story.
“And, y’know, it is. I’ve worked harder probably on other shows, or just as hard, not for such a length of time as this. But, it’s the price to pay to be on the Oregon Trail and tell this story. And in the end, that’s what we all keep focused on. Because we’re all out there suffering that stuff. It’s not just the cast, it’s the crew, it’s everybody.”