Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

1883's Eric Nelsen Confirms What We Suspected About Sam Elliott's On-Set Behavior

Veteran actors don't get much more iconic than Sam Elliott, who's made a career out of portraying stoic cowboy types and military figures in a myriad of films, TV shows, and commercials. He played the Marlboro Man in "Thank You for Smoking," had a stint as the "Beef: It's What's For Dinner" guy, appeared in Ang Lee's "Hulk" as General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, and was even The Stranger, the mysterious figure who acts as a kind of quasi-narrator in "The Big Lebowski." Pretty much everyone who's watched any TV or movies in the last couple of decades recognizes him from something, and his profile has gone up even more with his participation in the "Yellowstone" prequel series "1883."

Casting a western legend like Elliott in "1883" was a no-brainer, even if there was a risk that he might intimidate some of the other cast members, like Eric Nelsen, who plays the dashing young guide Ennis on the series. Nelsen was recently asked in an interview what it was like to work with an "icon of westerns and cinema in general" like Elliot, and his answer confirms what most of us assumed about Elliott's off-screen persona.

Nelsen speaks glowingly about his 1883 co-star

Eric Nelsen opened up about working with Sam Elliott during a recent interview with Wide Open Country. Naturally, Nelsen was asked what it's like working with someone of Elliott's stature, and he acknowledged that he went into the show as a "mega-fan" of the actor. And just as we in the audience might dream about what it would be like to meet a genuine living legend like Elliott, Nelsen says he was suffering from the same high expectations. 

"[W]hen I first found out he was in the show, I freaked out of course," Nelsen explained. "You go through your stages of 'I hope they're everything I hope they are.' You have an imagination of what they might be in real life and who they might be and you just want them to be great people because you're such a fan and you hope for the best."

Oftentimes, when you meet your heroes, they end up disappointing you, falling short of your sky-high expectations of what being around them in real life might be like. Fortunately, this was not one of those times. As Nelsen told Wide Open Country, "Sam Elliott is the most genuine, kind, loving, bighearted man I ever met in my entire life. So all the nerves and anxiety of meeting one of your idols went right out the window the first second I met him."

Nelsen added that Elliott's big heart extended to everyone around him, saying, "Everybody he talked to, whether it was an extra or a lead or even people on the street, he loves to hear from fans." Great news for all the Elliott and "1883" fans out there!