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A Star Is Born’s Sam Elliott criticises The Power of the Dog’s ‘allusions to homosexuality’

The Grace & Frankie actor has branded the Oscar-nominated drama starring benedict Cumberbatch a "piece of s**t".

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Wiki and Netflix

Actor Sam Elliott has criticised the Oscar-nominated Western film The Power of the Dog for its “allusions to homosexuality”.

Elliott, who made his name in TV Westerns before appearing in more recent films such as A Star Is Born, made the comments while appearing on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast.

The Power of the Dog stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a closeted and much-conflicted cowboy in 1920s rural Montana. The film has received widespread acclaim and plaudits, inclluding Oscar nominations for Cumberbatch and his co-stars, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Jesse Plemons.

“Where’s the Western in this Western?”

Asked about the Jane Campion-directed film, Elliott, 77, said: “You want to talk about that piece of s***?”

Explaining the reason for his dislike of the film, Elliott says the film made cowboys look like a group called the Chippendales, who he says used to wear in “bowties and not much else”.

“That’s what all these f***ing cowboys in that movie looked like,” he continued. “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts, there’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f****ing movie.”

Elliot praised Campion as “a brilliant director” but asked: “What the f*** does this woman from down there [New Zealand] know about the American West?”

He continued: “And why the f*** did she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say ‘this is the way it was?’ That f***ing rubbed me the wrong way, pal.”

Elliott also tries to dispel the “myth” of cowboys being masculine men, saying in his experience cowboys are all about family.

He went on: “For me, it was the only issue because there was so much of it. I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his f***ing chaps. He had two pairs of chaps, a wooly pair, and a leather pair. And every f***ing time he’d walk in from somewhere, I don’t know where the f***, he never was on a horse, maybe once, he’d walk into the f***ing house, storm up the f***ing stairs, go lay on his bed in his chaps and play his banjo.

“It was like, what the f***? What the f***? Where’s the Western in this Western?”

Attitude has approached Sam Elliott’s representatives for comment. 

Attitude’s new-look March/April issue is out now.