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Power Of The Dog Director Says Sam Elliott Is A ‘Bit Of A Bitch’ After ‘Piece Of Sh*t’ Criticism
Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Power Of The Dog Director Says Sam Elliott Is A ‘Bit Of A Bitch’ After ‘Piece Of Sh*t’ Criticism

She did not hold back.

Jane Campion has responded to Sam Elliott's scathing critique of her movie The Power of the Dog, and she did not hold back. 

Last month, on an episode of the WTF With Marc Maron podcast, Elliott, who is known for his roles in a series of Western films, from 1993's Tombstone to The Hero (2017), tore into the 2021 movie, which was recently made available to watch on Netflix.

The 77-year-old branded the Western Drama – which stars Doctor Strange's Benedict Cumberbatch and Spider-Man's Kirsten Dunst – as a 'piece of sh*t,' while also stating that the film's portrayal of America's west felt 'f*cking personal'.

However, the Oscar-nominated movie’s director, Campion, clapped back during a red carpet interview with Variety at the Directors Guild Of America Awards last night, calling Elliott a ‘bit of a bitch’. 

‘I'm sorry, he was being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H,’ she said. ‘He's not a cowboy; he's an actor. The West is a mythic space and there's a lot of room on the range. I think it's a little bit sexist because if you think about the number of amazing westerns made in Spain by [director] Sergio Leone… I consider myself a creator. I think he thinks of me as a woman or something lesser first, and I don't appreciate that.’

Numerous people took to the comments section of the clip to share their support for the filmmaker while also criticising Elliott’s statements, with one writing, ‘The actor part is the part that sticks for me. Sam Elliott doesn’t know any more about being a cowboy than I do. Not from real life experience anyway.’

Sam Elliott made the comments on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast. (Twitter/@WTFpod)
Sam Elliott made the comments on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast. (Twitter/@WTFpod)

Another said, ‘It’s not the fact he didn’t like her movie, it’s how he spoke about her movie and her as a filmmaker. There is a way to express disapproval and dislike for something without disrespecting it, and Sam Elliott did not respect Campion, the cast, and all the makers of the film.’

Either way, Elliott’s comments haven’t dampened the film’s success – Campion took home the top prize of Directing Feature Film at the 2022 DGA Awards for The Power of the Dog.

She’s not the first person behind the film to hit back at the comments either, as Cumberbatch appeared to allude to them after being one of the focal points of Elliott’s argument. 

The Power of the Dog recently dropped on Netflix. (Netflix)
The Power of the Dog recently dropped on Netflix. (Netflix)

On the podcast, Elliott said, ‘I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his f**king chaps. He had two pairs of chaps – a woolly pair and a leather pair. And every fucking time he would walk in from somewhere – he never was on a horse, maybe once – he’d walk into the f**king house, storm up the f**king stairs, go lay in his bed in his chaps and play his banjo. It’s like, what the f**k?’

The A Star is Born actor also discussed ‘all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f**king movie’.

Seemingly discussing the critique during a BAFTA Film Sessions panel, Cumberbatch said, ‘I don’t want to get into the details of it… but somebody really took offense to – I haven’t heard it, so it’s unfair for me to comment in detail on it – to the West being portrayed in this way. 

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the movie. (Netflix)
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the movie. (Netflix)

‘And beyond that reaction – that sort of denial that anybody could have any other than a heteronormative existence because of what they do for a living or where they’re born, there’s also a massive intolerance within the world at large toward homosexuality still, toward an acceptance of the other, of any kind of difference, and no more so I guess than in this prism of conformity of what’s expected of a man in the Western archetype mould of masculinity.’

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Topics: Film and TV, Netflix