Ever since the first season aired back in 2018, Yellowstone has steadily become the most popular series on cable. After every new season airs, fans are clamoring for more, eagerly tuning into the Paramount Network each fall for more juicy drama centered around the fictional modern ranching family, the Duttons. Starring Oscar-winner Kevin Costner and Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser and more, the series has a passionate following that has allowed creator Taylor Sheridan to expand the Yellowstone universe with multiple spinoffs and prequel series that are currently in the works.
Despite the popularity of the beloved show, there is one person who really isn't a fan of the series-- Sam Elliott. Known by many as Hollywood's favorite cowboy, Elliott has built a career starring in various westerns ranging from Tombstone to Gettysburg. He seems like a natural fit for a show like Yellowstone, which shines a light on ranch life in Montana and everything that goes into maintaining that way of life in modern times. But for whatever reason, the actor just isn't a fan. That didn't stop him from starring in the Yellowstone prequel series 1883 though. He was a pivotal part of the Dutton family origin story that explained how exactly Kevin Costner's ancestors came to settle down on the massive Montana ranch fans are familiar with in Yellowstone.
Who does Sam Elliott play in 1883?
The beloved actor was one of the main leads in 1883, playing the role of Shea Brennan alongside Billy Bob Thornton, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Shea was a veteran of the Civil War, where he served in the Buffalo Soldier Regiment for the Union. After losing his family at the beginning of the premiere, he joins his former sergeant Thomas as a Pinkerton Agent and leads a group of German immigrants out West. The Duttons join up with their wagon train in Texas with the goal of making part of their journey together, despite wanting to land in different places.
As you'd expect from a Sam Elliott character, he's gruff and no-nonsense but full of heart. He sets out to make his way to Oregon (despite the Dutton family's goal of landing in Montana) in order to meet his late wife's dreams of seeing the ocean. He forms a sweet connection with James Dutton's (Tim McGraw) daughter Elsa and proves to be one handy gunslinger on the dangerous trek. It's a wild road with a dark ending but with many beautiful moments in between. 1883 is certainly a cinematic masterpiece that feels like a slice of real history, Elliott's character included.
Sam Elliott isn't a Yellowstone fan
He may have appeared in 1883 but that doesn't mean he's a fan of the rest of the story. During an interview with Marc Maron on the WTF with Marc Maron Podcast, the actor revealed that Yellowstone just isn't his personal taste.
"I'm not a Yellowstone fan. I don't watch Yellowstone," Elliott stated. "I love Costner, there's a lot of good people on the cast, a few of them I've worked with before -- nothing against any of them -- but it's just too much like f---ing 'Dallas' or something for me."
Dallas starred several well-known actors, including Patrick Duffy, Charlene Tilton, Larry Hagman and more. It ran on CBS for over a decade and became one of the longest-running hour primetime dramas in US TV history.
Elliott's comments were probably referring to Yellowstone's season 3 ending, which left several fans wondering who had shot John Dutton, portrayed by Kevin Costner, and the rest of the Dutton family just as Dallas had left fans wondering who had shot J.R. Ewing.
Is Sam Elliott in Yellowstone?
Elliott revealed that before starring in the prequel series, Taylor Sheridan actually offered him a role in Yellowstone but ultimately decided to turn it down.
"Taylor (Sheridan) reached out to me over a year ago about doing a little thing on Yellowstone... I passed on it but during that time that he made that offer to me, we started talking. I'd never crossed paths with him before, I'd certainly seen his work, stuff that he's written... I watched 'Sons Of Anarchy,' I knew him as an actor. I first discovered him as a writer on 'Sicario' and I thought 'wow how can one guy have so many talents going for him.'"
He continued, "But to get an opportunity to work with Taylor and do this piece of work, it's always been about, I shouldn't say always but in the beginning, I would've done anything. But at some point, I made the conscious decision, if I wanted to have a career or tried to do good work, good work for me has always been born on the page first, so it's always about the script. This guy (Taylor Sheridan) we're talking about is a brilliant writer, he's a genius of sorts I suspect, that's why I'm here."
While it seems like we won't see Sam Elliott in Yellowstone anytime soon, it's safe to say his role in 1883 more than makes up for it.
READ MORE: Sam Elliott 'Jabbed' Tim McGraw For Forgetting His Line on '1883'
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