Sam Elliott, an actor well-known for appearing in westerns who is currently appearing in the Yellowstone spinoff 1883, took issue with several aspects of the Netflix western The Power Of The Dog and questioned New Zealand-born director Jane Campion’s ability to make a proper Western.

Elliott first called the Oscar contender, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a Montana ranch owner that is alluded to having repressed feelings of homosexuality, “that piece of sh–t,” when asked for his opinion of it in an interview on WTF with Marc Maron.

He first admitted he “didn’t like it anyway” before even seeing it because of the language of some advertising he saw. Elliott told Maron, “There was a f––king full page in the L.A. Times … and it talked about the ‘evisceration of the American Myth.’ And I thought, ‘What the f––k?'”

Elliott then made a bizarre connection, likening the wardrobe of the Netflix Original film to Chippendales dancers, adding, “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts.” He also seemed to take issue with, “all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f––king movie,” and Maron quickly pointed out that was sort of the point of the movie.

The A Star Is Born actor began criticizing Campion, even though he started off with a positive qualifier, “By the way, she’s a brilliant director. I love her work, previous work.” He followed up in a more incendiary tone by saying, “What the f––k does this woman, from [New Zealand] know about the American West? And why the in the fuck does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana?” Elliott seems to have somehow forgotten that sometimes film budgets limit where you can shoot a movie, and also that non-American directors such as the Italian Sergio Leone have created some of the most iconic Westerns of all time.

Toward the end of the conversation, Elliott seemed to feel like the Western setting of the film was just for show, adding, “Where’s the western in this western?” He then admitted that, since he has played a good amount of cowboys, “I took it personal, I took it f––king personal.”

Elliot’s “personal” connection to the American West is a little overblown by years of being treated like a cowboy in Hollywood, though. He grew up primarily in California’s capital city of Sacramento before moving to Portland, Oregon. Even if his family is originally from Texas, that actually doesn’t give you more authority over a film genre than any other actor or director.


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