update: 6:40 AM March 7 2022
Benedict Cumberbatch has appeared to respond to Sam Elliott's vehement distaste for his film "The Power of the Dog".
The MCU star touched on criticism of the Jane Campion directed Western during a BAFTA Film Sessions on Friday.
"I'm trying very hard not to say anything about a very odd reaction that happened the other day on a radio podcast over here," the Doctor Strange actor said per Insider.
"Without meaning to stir over the ashes of that," he went on. "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 this way."
Cumberbatch said of his Netflix character, Phil Burbank: "These people still exist in our world."
"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."
"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."
Meanwhile, a rep for Jane Campion told TooFab they were aware of Elliott's interview but were not commenting.
original story below: 11:52 AM March 1 2022
It's fair to say "The Power of the Dog" does not get Sam Elliott's stamp of approval.
The veteran actor, who has starred in umpteen cowboy movies, was not happy with the "allusions to homosexuality" throughout the Oscar frontrunner.
"You want to talk about that piece of shit?" Elliott asked when the subject arose on Marc Maron's WTF podcast Monday.
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"You didn't like that one?" the host probed.
"F--- no," the 77-year-old replied. "I'll tell you why."
While the "Ghost Rider" star said he "didn't like it anyway" after watching the Netflix film while shooting "1883" down in Texas, it was after reading a segment in the LA Times that described Jane Campion's work as "the evisceration of the American myth" that really set him off.
"And I thought, 'What the f--k? What the f--k?' This is the guy that's done westerns forever. The evisceration of the American west? They made it look like... what are all those dancers, those guys in New York who wear bowties and not much else, remember them from back in the day?"
After Maron suggested the Chippendales, Elliott confirmed and ploughed on.
"That's what all these f--king cowboys in that movie look like," he continued. "They're all running around in chaps and no shirts. There's all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f--king movie."
Marc Maron: Did you see Power of the Dog, did you see that movie?— Jonathan (@jonathanmb32) February 28, 2022 @jonathanmb32
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
In the psychological western drama, Benedict Cumberbatch plays a tough, wealthy rancher, whom it is hinted had a secret homosexual relationship with his since-deceased mentor; he mocks and bullies his new sister-in-law's son over his effeminate manner, but later takes him under his wing.
Indeed, as Maron pointed out to Elliott, "I think that's what the movie's about." But Elliott shrugged it off, before turning his rant toward the Kiwi director.
"Yeah well, what the f--k does this woman — she's a brilliant director by the way, I love her work, previous work — but what the f--k does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West? And why in the f--k does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana? And say: 'This is the way it was.'"
Benedict Cumberbatch Admits Non-Binary 'Zoolander 2' Role 'Backfired'View Story
"That f--king rubbed me the wrong way, pal," Elliott continued. "The myth was that they were these macho men out there with the cattle. I just come from f--king Texas where I was hanging out with families, not men, but families, big, long, extended, multiple-generation families, that made their living, and their lives were all about being cowboys."
"And boy when I f--king saw that I thought 'what the f--k?' Where are we in this world...?"
"I don't know if that's the, uh, biggest issue at hand..." Maron tried to interject, but Elliott wasn't being steered away.
"No. It's not the biggest issue at hand, but for me it was the only issue," he said. "Because there was so much of it."
"I mean Cumberbatch never got out of his fucking chaps!" he exclaimed. "He had two pair of chaps: a wooly pair and a leather pair. And every f--king time he'd walk in from somewhere — I don't know where the f--k, he never was on a horse, maybe once — he'd walk into the f--king house, storm up the f--king stairs, go lay on his bed in his chaps and play his banjo."
"And it's like - what the f--k? What the f--k? Where's the western? Where's the western in this western?"
Maron suggested it was just one particular tale, and that the "evisceration of the Western story" was just one critic's opinion.
"No, the American myth" Elliott corrected him, appearing to take umbrage at that particular description.
"I take it personal," he concluded. "I take it f--king personal, pal."
Naturally, "Brokeback Mountain" immediately started trending all over Twitter, as commenters wondered if Elliott had seen it.
According to this 2006 interview, he has — and he liked it.
"I did," he told interviewer Scott Holleran at the time. "I went with my wife and I didn't really get what all the to-do was about."
"It is a beautiful film and I was thrilled for Ang [Lee, who directed Elliott in Hulk], but it isn't a Western. For one thing, it's about a couple of sheepherders, not cattlemen."
"The whole homosexual thing was interesting—they stepped over the line—but Katharine and I both looked at it and thought, 'what's the big deal?'"
As many commentators now point out however, Elliott didn't seem to take issue with the fact the director was from Taiwan, and that the movie was shot in Alberta.
TooFab has reached out to Jane Campion and Benedict Cumberbatch for comment.