Sam Elliott and Brett Haley on “The Hero”: Reel Pieces with Annette Insdorf

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Sam Elliott’s 40 years onscreen include playing cowboys, bikers, and — increasingly — sexy romantic partners (to Blythe Danner in I’ll See You in My Dreams, Lily Tomlin in Grandma and Jane Fonda on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie). After starring in Lifeguard (1976), his films ranged from Mask (1985) and Tombstone (1993), to Ang Lee’s Hulk (2003) and Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep (2012). On TV, he currently stars with Debra Winger in the Netflix comedy series The Ranch. He won a 2015 Critics’ Choice Award for the hit series Justified, and was nominated for an Emmy as well as a Golden Globe for Buffalo Girls.

Brett Haley previously directed Sam Elliott in I’ll See You in My Dreams. Both films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The Hero is an entertaining and thoughtful autumnal drama about an aging actor. The fine supporting cast includes Laura Prepon (from Orange Is the New Black) as a self-possessed stand-up comedian, and Nick Offerman as a stoner buddy. The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “As any fan of The Big Lebowski — and countless other movie buffs — will tell you, Sam Elliott’s smoky, whiskey-soaked baritone is one of American cinema’s undervalued treasures.”