Actor Sam Elliott has never been one to mince words about his career and tends to be equally honest about its highlights and lowlights. He currently stars as Shea Brennan on Paramount +’s hit “Yellowstone” spinoff and prequel, “1883,” and interest in the show has hit an all-time high as it speeds through its successful 1st season.
Brennan is the leader of the wagon train, which the Dutton family has joined in the hope of leaving Texas and reaching unspoiled Western land upon which they can stake their claim. He’s hard-nosed, tough, but not entirely inhumane in his treatment of those who have been chosen — or been forced — to follow him. Shaped by personal tragedies and his experience serving in the Civil War, his goal is to see pristine, wild open land one more time before he dies.
Recently, Elliott gave an interview where he discussed his role on “1883” as well as some matters surrounding the program. What the actor said confirmed our long-held suspicions about his character.
Elliott thinks Shea Brennan is a ‘bit of a psycho’ after what he’s been through
During a January 2022 interview with Taste of Country’s Dutton Rules podcast, Sam Elliott said he thinks Shea Brennan is “a bit of a psycho,” but the experiences he’s been through have shaped him into one.
“He’s got a lot of issues and he’s complex in some ways. Number one, because he’s a veteran of the Civil War, we all know what being a veteran is today, call it what you want. Number two, he loses his family in the first episode right off the top,” Elliott said. Brennan learns in the show’s first episode that his wife and daughter have died of smallpox, thus freeing him completely to leave Texas for good. Having lived through so much trauma, it’s no wonder that he’s a little bit off-kilter.
Brennan’s emotions have affected the actor to some degree. “When you do anything that’s an emotional scene, you carry it with you for a while,” Elliott said. “You become a little vulnerable, probably. Ultra-sensitive, if nothing else.” After reflecting upon how performing in “A Star Is Born” emotionally impacted him, the actor added, “when it becomes real and you’re being honest about whatever it is you’re doing, that’s when it deeply affects me. And I try to tell the truth all the time.”