Director Jane Campion has called actor Sam Elliott "a bit sexist" and "a slut" for criticising The Power of the Dog, her Oscar- and Bafta-nominated western, for its driving theme of repressed homosexual desire and for being shot in New Zealand.
Campion's film has 12 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actress (Kirsten Dunst) and two Best Supporting Actor nominations (Kodi Smit-McPhee and Jesse Plemons). Campion is the first woman to be nominated twice for Best Director.
Campion spoke to Variety at the Directors Guild of America awards ceremony Saturday in Los Angeles, where she received the award for Outstanding Directing in Motion Pictures.
She said, "I am sorry, he was a bit of a B-I-T-C-H. I am sorry to say this, but he's not a cowboy, he's an actor. The West is a mythical place and there's a lot of space on the ranch. I think that's a little sexist."
She added, "I consider myself a creator. I think he thinks of me as a woman first or something inferior."
Elliott, who has starred in numerous westerns, spoke on Marc Maron's WTF podcast last month.
"Yeah, you want to talk about that piece of shit?" he said.
"You did not like that one?" asked Maron.
"Hell, no," Elliott said. "Why? I'll tell you why I still did not like it. I watched it when I was in Texas shooting [the TV series] in 1883 ...
"There was a full-page ad in the LA Times, and there was a clip talking about the evisceration of the American myth. And I thought 'What the fuck? What the fuck?' This is the guy who's always done Westerns. The evisceration of the American West? They made him look like - what are these dancers, these guys in New York who wear bow ties and not much else? Do you remember them from the old days?"
Maron indicated that he meant the Chippendales, an all-male strip troupe.
Elliott said, "That's what all those damn cowboys looked like in that movie, running around in chaps and no shirts. There were all these references to homosexuality in the whole damn movie."
Said Maron: "I think that's what the movie is about."
Elliott said, "Well, what the hell does this woman from down there - she's a brilliant director - know about the American West, and why the hell did she make this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, 'This is the way it used to be.' That threw me for a loop, buddy.
"The myth is that it was these macho men out there with the cattle. I just came from fucking Texas where I hung out with families, not men, but families, big, long, extended families, multi-generational."
Elliott also complained about Campion's star, saying, "I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his damn chaps. He had two pairs of chaps - one pair of wool and one pair of leather. And every time he came from somewhere - he never sat on a horse, maybe once - he'd go into the fucking house, storm up the fucking stairs, lie down in his bed in his chaps and play his banjo.
"What the hell?"
Earlier this month, the Guardian published an interview in which Campion was asked, "Did you ever worry that you were overdoing it with all the leather, ropes and chaps?"
Campion replied, "I encouraged it! I loved it because they looked like satyrs. And when I looked at the pictures from that time, big wool caps were really common; I guess Montana is super-cold. So wearing a sheep on each leg is kind of helpful."
Elliott also asked, "Where's the western in this western?"
In partial response, Campion told Variety, "When you think of all the great Westerns made in Spain by Sergio Leone, I consider myself the creator."
About Elliott, she said, "I think he thinks I am a woman first or something inferior, and I do not like that."
14/03/2022 06:37 am