Sam Elliott was so exhausted after A Star Is Born he broke down on The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot
The Oscar nominated actor talks us through the surprisingly deep and emotional drama.
Sam Elliott is having quite the year.
The 74-year-old’s performance in A Star Is Born has rightfully been acknowledged as one of the best of recent years, so much so that he is the clear favorite for this year's Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, while he is also a mainstay in The Ranch and consistently steals any other film or show he is a part of.
But while his gravely voice, stoic demeanor and all powerful mustache would have you believe otherwise, Elliott is still a mere mortal.
So when Sam Elliott went straight from A Star Is Born to the magnificently named The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot, which rather than being a B-movie about these murders is actually a deep and intimate character study about a lonely veteran, he is the first to admit he was very, very tired.
Ever the pro, though, Elliott used this exhaustion to make the emotional parts of Bigfoot even more resonant and powerful, and at one point he even broke down unexpectedly.
“It wasn’t scripted. I just touched his hand and somehow it just killed me. All of a sudden I just started weeping in the middle of f--king nowhere,” he tells Metro while laughing. “Everybody was like, ‘What the f--k?’”
It clearly worked, though. “There was a runner with f--king tears in his eyes at the end of the take. It was just one of those things that gets born in the momen. The magical stuff.”
Clearly leaving A Star Is Born was a complicated experience for Elliott. Because while collaborating with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, who Elliott calls “two of the most powerful characters” he has ever worked with, was energizing, it also left him extremely drained.
“I felt pretty strong after I left A Star Is Born. Because of the experience, being in their presence. I had the feeling that something special had just happened. When you watch Gaga on stage and doing her thing and you see Bradley doing what he’s doing, and seeing him work as a director and he’s clearly a brilliant filmmaker. I was definitely energized by that experience.”
“But I was f--king tired. I feel like I’ve been tired for the last two years. I went from The Ranch to A Star is Born to this. I left A Star is Born on the Friday, started on this on the Monday. There was very little time and I had to shift gears. But, again, you get energized somehow. You just get up and go again.”
Sam Elliott made sure he approached The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot with all the seriousness and gusto of his previous projects, even though its budget was so tight that writer and director Robert Krzykowski basically had to beg, borrow and steal to make it.
“I think when I got over there everyone was taken aback that I took it all so serious,” he admits. “I think a lot of guys on this crew thought it was a hoot. When I started doing it, people thought, ‘What the f--k, man? This is not what I expected it to be!’”
“But Robert gave me every bit of confidence to do what I wanted to do. I knew where he wanted to go with it. He was interested in telling the truth. And that’s always what I try to do. Because there’s a goodness at the heart of this that I hope speaks to people.”
But despite his self-diagnosed exhaustion, don’t expect Sam Elliott to stop anytime soon. “The truth is that I’m lucky to be working. I’m working with good people. It’s all good stuff. It’s a lot of fun.”
The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot hits select theaters, On Digital and On Demand on Feb. 8.