Kodi Smit-McPhee Shuts Down Sam Elliott’s ‘Power of the Dog’ Dig: ‘Good Luck to Him’

Elliott previously called the Oscar-nominated film a "piece of sh*t" for the "allusions to homosexuality" in a Western.
Kodi Smit-McPhee poses for a portrait at the 94th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon, Monday, March 7, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Kodi Smit-McPhee
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The “Power of the Dog” debate continues as star Kodi Smit-McPhee weighed in on Sam Elliott’s homophobic criticisms of the Academy Award-nominated film.

Smit-McPhee, who is Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actor, told Variety that he has “nothing” to say to Elliott’s previous claims on Marc Maron’s “WTF Podcast” that the film is a “piece of shit.”

“‘Cause I’m a mature being and I’m passionate about what I do, and I don’t really give energy to anything outside of that,” Smit-McPhee said about ignoring the “1883” star’s comments. “Good luck to him.”

Elliott compared Jane Campion’s Montana-set Western to a Chippendales show, saying the cowboys are “all running around in chaps and no shirts.” The drama also includes the main storyline of fictional character Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) coming to terms with his repressed sexual identity.

“There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the fucking movie,” Elliott said.

Elliott continued that Campion was out of her element by adapting Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel.

“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,'” Elliott said. “That fucking rubbed me the wrong way, pal. The myth is that they were these macho men out there with the cattle.”

Lead star Cumberbatch previously addressed Elliott’s rant, saying during a recent BAFTA Film Session, “There’s also a massive intolerance within the world at large towards homosexuality still and towards an acceptance of the other and anything kind of difference. No more so than in this prism of conformity of what’s expected of a man in the Western archetype mold of masculinity. To deconstruct that through Phil, it’s not a history lesson.”

Cumberbatch concluded, “This is a very specific case of repression, but also due to an intolerance for that true identity that Phil is that he can’t fully be. The more we look under the hood of toxic masculinity and try to discover the root causes of it, the bigger chances we have of dealing with it when it arises with our children.”

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