"It's crazy that it happened at all, not that it's taken so long."
That's Sam Elliott reaction to his first-ever Oscar nomination, a recent milestone in a career that has spanned more than 50 years. Elliott is a Best Supporting Actor nominee for his performance as Jackson Maine's long-suffering older brother, Bobby, in A Star Is Born, which earned a total of eight Academy Award nominations.
"I was completely surprised by it. I've never thought about awards. It's not a part of my world. It's not what I search for, it's not what I go after," Elliott told ET's Courtney Tezeno while promoting his latest film, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot. "It's the work that intrigues me."
It's that same intrigue that drew him to his latest passion project. "Something spoke to me about it," he explains of the Robert Krzykowski-directed thriller. "First off, the title. I was completely intrigued about this bizarre title." In the movie, Elliott plays Calvin Barr, a legendary war hero who is recruited to hunt down the titular mythical creature.
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Sam Elliott Talks Killer New Role, Ageism and Secret to Marriage With Wife Katharine (Exclusive)
"You will get your money's worth," he promises. "It's a romance, it's a love story, it's an action [film], on some level. It's really the story about a humble man of good character with a troubled past. It's an interesting little film."
Following The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot's release on Feb. 8, Elliott will be back into A Star Is Born mode for the Oscars, where co-stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga will take the stage together to perform "Shallow" live. The duo performed the duet during her Las Vegas show, Enigma, but Elliott hasn't had a chance to visit Sin City to see her -- not yet, at least.
"We're gonna see both of her shows," Elliott says. "I saw a clip when I was at the SAG Awards and it was pretty amazing. It was Bradley getting up on stage and singing 'Shallow' with her and I was just wishing to be there, just to witness it."
"I'm looking forward to going over there, taking [wife] Katharine and my daughter, Cleo," he adds. "They've both met Stefani, and she's been really good to all of us. We're really looking forward to going. We're all Gaga fans in our house."