New Zealand movie director Jane Campion slapped down actor Sam Elliott on Saturday for complaining that her riveting “The Power of the Dog” was a “piece of s**t” because it wasn’t filmed in the American West, and “there were all these allusions to homosexuality” — which was kind of the point of the film.
Her decision to film the story in her home country (for budget reasons) “fucking rubbed me the wrong way, Pal,” the veteran actor, currently starring in the Paramount+ “Yellowstone” prequel “1883,” ranted on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast early this month.
Campion reminded Variety when asked about Elliott’s comments at the Directors Guild of America awards ceremony in Beverly Hills: “I’m sorry to say it but he’s not a cowboy; he’s an actor.”
He was “being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H,” Campion noted. As for where “The Power of the Dog” was filmed, the “West is a mythic space and there’s a lot of room on the range. … I think it’s a little bit sexist,” she added.
The takedown was all the sweeter because Campion walked away with the headlining DGA Theatrical Feature Film prize for her movie by the end of the night. The win is a strong predictor of who will win the Best Director nod at the Academy Awards.
Elliott did acknowledge Campion as a “brilliant” filmmaker in his interview, but it came in the midst of his expletive-laced rant.
“What the fuck does this woman from down there know about the American West? Why the fuck did 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 said.
“Boy, when I fucking saw that, I thought, ‘What the fuck? Where are we in this world today?’”
“Power of the Dog” star Benedict Cumberbatch responded to Elliott earlier this month, without using his name. He referred simply to “someone” who “really took offense” to the film.
Cumberbatch linked “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” to a “massive intolerance within the world at large towards homosexuality still and toward an acceptance of the other and anything kind of difference.”
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