Actor Sam Elliot made his mark in Hollywood with appearances in classic westerns like “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Yellow Rose”.
His deep voice and cowboy persona made him a perfect match for his roles in those flicks and others of the same genre throughout the 70s and 80s.
Most of his credits came by way of supporting roles, though, and for Elliot, he wondered if he’d ever get out of that western category.
Elliot talked with News 8's Dan Cohen about the challenges of typecasting in Hollywood, and shared how his newest film "The Hero" has brought some of his old characters around full circle.
It all started when Elliot’s friend and director Brett Haley approached him with tailored script casting him as a veteran actor stricken with cancer, facing some of the dilemmas Elliot has faced in real life.
“There are a lot of similarities,” Elliot said. “Having a script written for me, and about an actor that’s done westerns and an actor that’s done voice overs, there’s obviously a lot of stuff that’s close to home.”
“He’s an actor. I understand this guy that made the wrong choices and really made a mess of his life,” he added.
Elliot says there was a time in his career when he thought whether he was ever going to get out of the “western box.”
“I think at some point I just realized that I was fortunate enough to be in any box,” Elliot said.
He said he looks back at the westerns he’s done, and “the Hero”, and realizes that the characters and stories are all interconnected.
“I’ve got no grudge about being put in a box with the old cowboys in the old days,” Elliot said.
“The Hero” premiered on June 9