'The Power of The Dog': Sam Elliott rips into Oscar favourite calling it 'a piece of s***'

·3-min read

Veteran actor Sam Elliott has shared his scathing criticism of Jane Campion’s Oscar frontrunner The Power of The Dog in a new interview.

The 77-year-old A Star Is Born star, who has appeared in a large number of Westerns over his career, revealed that he has been unimpressed with the movie’s depiction of cowboys as well as its “allusions of homosexuality”.

Speaking candidly during a wide-ranging interview with Marc Maron, The Ranch actor referred to the 12-time Oscar-nominated film as a “piece of s***” as he aired his grievances about the project.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank in The Power Of The Dog (Kirsty Griffin/Netflix © 2021)
Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank in The Power Of The Dog (Kirsty Griffin/Netflix © 2021)

The 1883 star compared the cowboys in the Netflix film to Chippendales dancers as he stated: “That’s what all these f***ing cowboys in that movie looked like. They’re running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions of homosexuality throughout the movie.”

At which point, host Maron stepped in to point out that the film did in fact suggest the lead character – played by Benedict Cumberbatch – was a closeted homosexual.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 11: Sam Elliott attends Paramount+ and 101 Studios world premiere of
Actor Sam Elliott at the world premiere of 1883 in Las Vegas (Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Wynn Las Vegas)

However, the A Star Is Born actor went on to criticise what he claimed to be Campion’s lack of insight into the world she had created for the big screen.

Read more: The Power of the Dog leads Oscar nominations

Explaining that he believed she is a “brilliant director”, the actor shared his issues with her creative decisions as he questioned: “What the f*** does this woman from down there [New Zealand] know about the American west?

The Power of the Dog (Kirsty Griffin/Netflix)
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog (Kirsty Griffin/Netflix)

“Why the f*** did she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana? And say 'this is the way it was'?”

The Road House actor explained that his grievance with this style of movie was due to the fact “the myth is that they [American cowboys] were these macho men out there with cattle” when reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

Jane Campion and Benedict Cumberbatch on the set of The Power of the Dog (Kirsty Griffin/Netflix)
Jane Campion and Benedict Cumberbatch on the set of The Power of the Dog (Kirsty Griffin/Netflix)

Recalling his recent time spent in Texas while filming Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone prequel series 1883, he continued: “I just came from Texas where I was hanging out with families — not men — but families. Big, long, extended, multiple-generation families that made their livings...

Read more: Jane Campion makes Oscars history as first woman with two Best Director nominations

“And their lives were all about being about cowboys. And boy, when I f***ing saw that [movie], I thought, ‘What the f***’.”

When Maron tried to defend the film, Elliott retorted: “Where’s the western in this western? I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his f****** chaps.

“He had two pairs of chaps — a woolly pair and a leather pair. And every f***ing time he would walk in from somewhere — he never was on a horse — he’d walk in to the f***ing house, storm up the f***ing stairs, go lay in his bed, in his chaps and play the banjo.”

The Power of the Dog is streaming on Netflix, and is considered the frontrunner to win Best Picture at the 2022 Academy Awards. Yahoo Entertainment UK recently named it the best film of 2021.

Watch: The Power of the Dog trailer

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