Sam Elliott earned his first Oscar nomination for his performance in A Star Is Born, and he had four words for the Academy: "It's about f—ing time."
Elliott, who currently stars in Netflix's The Ranch, has worked in the entertainment industry for 50 years at this point. The actor is iconic for playing the cowboy archetype, and although he has taken on some massively influential projects, he has never gotten the Oscars nod before. When that changed on Tuesday, he spoke to Deadline about his elation.
"I think the thing off the top of my head might be, 'It's about f—ing time,'" the 74-year-old said. "Beyond that, it's really about the work; it's just about the creative process. It's great to be recognized for that, that's really all it's about."
Elliott knows a thing or two about matching the process up with perfect timing. He launched his film career in 1969 with the classic western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Elliott had a small side role in the movie, yet he was instantly recognizable as skilled performer. It did not take long for him to get other momentous offers, which propelled him to stardom.
In 2018, Elliott brought his years of experience to just the right movie with A Star Is Born. The remake is an Oscar favorite, with eight total Academy Award nominations, including Elliott's for Best Supporting Actor. Elliott played Bobby Maine, the brother of Bradley Cooper's character Jack. Elliott was not surprised that audiences were so enthralled by the movie, even in its fourth remake.
"I just think it has a number of universal themes that a lot of people can tap into," he explained. "The music's one thing, that stands alone on some level, but it's also an intricate part of the story. The love story, the love and loss. Then beyond that, it's the addiction theme. I don't know anybody that hasn't had some connection, either directly or indirectly, someone in their family, or someone they love, with alcoholism or addiction."
"It's just one one of the things we live with today," he went on. "I think the combination of all those factors is what people have responded to."
Elliott later added that he was "so grateful" to be a part of the movie, and to be nominated for his performance. Undercutting his earlier "about time" joke, he added that he was really surprised to get the news of his nomination.0comments
"I think my biggest takeaway is just how fortunate I am. Number one, to still be in the game, but to have an opportunity to work with two people like Bradley and Stefani (Lady Gaga), it's just extraordinary. 50 years into the game and all of a sudden to have anything to do with this, to be connected with a film like this, it's just a wonderful gift," he said.
The 91st Academy Awards are on Sunday, Feb. 24.