Sam Elliott has spent much of the past few months discussing his Oscar-nominated role as Bradley Cooper’s older brother in the Cooper-directed music drama A Star Is Born. But starting Friday, fans of the actor — and really, is there anyone who isn’t a fan of Elliott? — can see him in a very different film, with a very different title.
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot.
Written and directed by Robert D. Krzykowski, the film stars Elliott as Calvin Barr, who, as a younger man, did indeed kill Hitler and is now, decades later, approached by the authorities to take down the legendary Bigfoot.
So, what exactly attracted Elliott, 74, to the project?
“First, I was intrigued by that crazing f—ing title,” the actor tells EW. “I mean, is this for real? You’re thinking it’s got to be a schlocky piece of something. It’s totally misrepresented [by the title] in some ways. I mean, it is about what the title is. It’s this guy who killed Hitler and then Bigfoot. An actor named Aidan [Turner] plays me as a young man, and he’s the one who takes out Hitler. But it’s really this story about this character.
“I have a feeling this film is going to resonate with a lot of people, because of the type of man this character is,” Elliott continues. “He’s a vet of World War II, you got to believe that he killed a lot of people beside Hitler, and he’s totally destroyed on some deep personal level. They would have called it ‘shellshocked’ back in his day, but it’s really PTSD. Yet he maintains this personal integrity and is kind of this gentle soul on some level. The things he speaks of are of value and the things he represents are of value.”
Elliott adds that he’s “very optimistic that that movie’s going to find its audience. It’s the other side of the coin from A Star Is Born. It really is a character study with a lot of pulpy sh— thrown in, you know. But Bob Krzykowski wrote a brilliant script. He’s another one of those guys, like Bradley, who’s clearly going to be a brilliant filmmaker, he’s going to have a long career.”
Elliott was also drawn to the project by the caliber of folks helping to bring Krzykowski’s script to the screen, notably filmmaker John Sayles (Lone Star), who is an executive producer on the film, and visual effects wizard Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner).
“The fact that he had John Sayles and Douglas Trumbull,” Elliott says. “What the f—? I mean, if those guys threw in with this kid to help him get this film made, then why wouldn’t I?”
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot opens Feb. 8.