Filmmaker Jane Campion has hit back after Sam Elliott’s infamous tirade against her film The Power Of The Dog.
After winning Best Director at the Baftas on Sunday night, Jane is currently in the running to land her first Oscar, with the Netflix Western racking up a hefty 12 nominations at the upcoming Academy Awards.
But while the film largely gone down a storm with critics, one viewer who was decidedly less impressed was actor Sam Elliott, who has racked up a number of appearances in Westerns over the course of his career.
During an interview on the podcast WTF last month, host Marc Maron asked whether Sam had watched The Power Of The Dog, with the A Star Is Born actor questioning: “You want to talk about that piece of shit?”
Marc Maron: Did you see Power of the Dog, did you see that movie?
Sam Elliott: Yeah do you wanna talk about that piece of shit?
Marc: [ohh noo] You didn’t like that one?
Sam: Fuck no. pic.twitter.com/BGdOd6scwe
— Jonathan (@jonathanmb32) February 28, 2022
“All these fucking cowboys in that movie look like [Chippendales],” he claimed during the tirade. “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the fucking movie.”
The presenter then pointed out that part of the film’s plot is that Benedict’s character is closeted and struggling with his sexuality.
Turning his attention to the film’s director, Sam added: “What the fuck does this woman — she’s a brilliant director by the way, I love her work, previous work — but what the fuck does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West?
“And why in the fuck does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, ‘This is the way it was’?”
Ethan Miller via Getty Images
Over the weekend, Jane walked the red carpet at the Directors Guild Awards, where she picked up the top prize of the night, and was asked by Variety what she thought of Sam’s comments.
“What can I say? I’m sorry, he was being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H,” she said. “I’m sorry to say it, but he’s not a cowboy, he’s an actor. And the West is a mythic space and there’s a lot of room on the range.”
“I think it is a little bit sexist,” she added. “You think about the number of amazing Westerns that were made in Spain by Sergio Leone…
“I consider myself a creator, and I think he sees me as a woman, or something lesser, first. And I don’t appreciate that.”
The Power Of The Dog’s leading actor Benedict Cumberbatch previously said he’d found the comments “very odd”.
“Without meaning to stir over the ashes of that […] someone really took offence to – I haven’t heard it so it’s unfair for me to comment in detail on it – to the West being portrayed in [a certain] way.”
“These people still exist in our world,” he said of his character in The Power Of The Dog, while defending the film.
“Whether it’s on our doorstep or whether it’s down the road or whether it’s someone we meet in a bar or pub or on the sports field.
“There is aggression and anger and frustration and an inability to control or know who you are in that moment that causes damage to that person and, as we know, damage to those around them.”