A Star Is Born took home several Oscar nominations early Tuesday morning, including Sam Elliott's for Best Supporting Actor.
In the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga-led film, both of whom were nominated for Oscars as well, Elliott plays Jackson Maine's (Cooper) older half-brother and manager Bobby Maine.
To anyone who's seen the movie, Elliott's nomination comes as no surprise. The 74-year-old actor's iconic gravelly voice is perfect for the role of Jackson's older brother; throw in a rambunctious, fiery fist fight (complete with Elliott spitting out blood) and you've got an unexpectedly complex and compelling sibling relationship.
As a whole, Elliott was nominated for nine awards for his role in the Cooper-directed movie. He took home the prize from the National Board of Review, and time will tell if he wins the Oscar, Screen Actors Guild Award or AACTA Award.
The accomplished actor has every right to gloat over the accolades, but when talking about A Star Is Born, Elliott can't help but gush over his co-stars.
The Ranch actor told Variety that at the very first table read of the movie, he was enamored with Lady Gaga. "I've loved her from afar. She was just kind fo this regular girl on some level, this Stefani," he said. "She was stunning to work with."
He even described a moment in the Greek Theater in Los Angeles when morale was dwindling after a long day of shooting. “It was all her Little Monsters, her fanbase that followed her religiously. They were the extras in the crowd. She just came out of nowhere and sat down at the piano and started singing. Everybody just stopped. It was magical."
As for Cooper, whom Elliott said he'd never met, he was impressed by his dedication to emulating Elliott's deep baritone voice.
“I ended up going to his home and sat with him for a couple hours,” he said of the time before Elliott took the role when Cooper brought out a tape of him working with a vocal coach to learn to talk like Elliott. “He turned this thing on and it sounded very much like me…he’d committed to my voice before I was set for the part.”
“I remember Bradley telling me in the driveway, ‘If you trust me, you’ll be glad you did it,'” Elliott said.
"I have no illusions as to what’s going to come my way in terms of an award. Maybe a nomination, but winning awards for this small of a part... in the category that I would be in there are so many incredible parts in other films, and so many incredible performers too," he said. "The National Board of Review thing was enough, that was wonderful, but again, I mean, when you look at the field, I think it’s like a war of attrition for me. You know what I mean? I’ve been there long enough, and so they feel sorry for me."
Elliott told IndieWire that he knew with Cooper and Gaga's involvement, that A Star Is Born "obviously wasn't gonna be some run-of-the-mill remake. There was never a question whether I wanted to do it, I didn’t talk myself into doing this, or have somebody else talk me into it. … I always recall the adage that someone came up with eons ago, that ‘if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.’ I’m a pure believer in that. That doesn’t mean that you start out with a brilliant script and it can’t all go to s—.”
A Star Is Born took home eight Oscar nominations Tuesday morning, including Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture — although Cooper was snubbed in the director's race. The 91st Academy Awards will air on Sunday, Feb. 24 on ABC. As is widely reported, the awards ceremony thus far is host-free.