‘The Power of the Dog’ Star Kodi Smit-McPhee Responds to ‘1883’ Star Sam Elliott’s Criticism

by Allison Hambrick

After Sam Elliott criticized The Power of the Dog, actor Kodi Smit-McPhee fired back against the 1883 star’s remarks.

In a recent interview, Smit-McPhee was asked what he would say to Elliot’s comments. He simply responded: “Nothing. ‘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. If anything, I just have a little bit of a laugh. But yeah, good luck to him.”

As for Elliot’s original comments, the actor criticized The Power of the Dog for its commentary on toxic masculinity.

“I thought, ‘What the f—? What the f—?’ This is the guy that’s done westerns forever,” Elliott said. “[The cowboys] are all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f—ing movie.”

Elliott then called out director Jane Campion, who he saw as unfit for the western genre. He explained: “What the f— does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American west? And why in the f— does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, ‘This is the way it is.’ That f—ing rubbed me the wrong way, pal.”

Benedict Cumberbatch Addresses Power of the Dog Criticisms from Sam Elliot

In addition to Smit-McPhee, actor Benedict Cumberbatch also called out Sam Elliot. He felt that the latter’s comments were “very odd.”

“Without meaning to stir over the ashes of that…” said Cumberbatch. “Someone really took offense 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. And beyond that reaction, that sort of denial that anybody could have anything other than a heteronormative existence because of what they do for a living or where they’re born.”

Cumberbatch also explained how the point of his character was that he was a deeply repressed gay man. He felt that Elliot missed the message of the film. The Power of the Dog star felt that Elliot’s criticisms unfairly imply these people don’t exist.

“These people still exist in our world,” he continued. “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. There’s no harm in looking at a character to get to the root causes of that. 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.”

Outsider.com