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‘He Was Being a Little Bit of a B-I-T-C-H’: Jane Campion Slams Sam Elliott’s ‘Power of the Dog’ Comments

Elliott previously called Campion's film a "piece of sh*t" in a controversial podcast interview.

The Power of the Dog

“The Power of the Dog”


If you thought the world was done discussing Sam Elliott’s opinions about “The Power of the Dog,” think again.

Speaking to Variety after arriving on the red carpet at the Directors Guild of America, director Jane Campion was asked the inevitable question about Elliott’s controversial comments about her film. She had blunt words for the “1883” star, who recently described “The Power of the Dog” as a “piece of shit.”

“I’m sorry, he was being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H,” Campion 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.”

Elliott’s comments appeared on an interview with Marc Maron on the comedian’s “WTF” podcast. His main criticism of the film was the fact that it applied a critical lens to the American West and the role it plays in American culture, despite the film being shot in New Zealand by a director who was not American.

“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?,” he said. “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.’ That fucking rubbed me the wrong way, pal.”

He went on to complain that the film’s portrayal of a lonely rancher (Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch) dealing with repressed homosexual feelings was inaccurate, saying, “The myth is that they were these macho men out there with the cattle. I just come from fucking Texas, where I was hanging out with families, not men, families, big, long, extended, multiple-generation families.”

Elliott claimed that his concern was strictly with the film’s historical accuracy, but comments like “they’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the fucking movie” struck many as being homophobic.

Campion, for her part, laughed at the fact that Elliott, an actor, is just as unqualified to comment on life in the American West as she is. “When he gets out of hair and makeup, I’ll meet him down at the OK Corral on the set with Doctor Strange and we will shoot it out,” she said.

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