“The Hero” star Sam Elliott joined the Variety Screening Series presented by FilmStruck to talk about his pot-smoking character, his confidence in director Brett Haley, and the current state of Western movies.

Elliott explained that, while he wish Western movies were more successful today, he has doubts about where Hollywood has taken the genre.

“I’d love to say I’m really optimistic about the chances for the Western surviving the long haul, but when they do ‘The Lone Ranger’ with Johnny Depp playing Tonto, you know, and spend millions and millions of dollars on special effects, there’s no room for that stuff in a Western,” he said. “Westerns aren’t about joking. They’re about survival. Man against man, man against nature, you know — maybe a love story.”