Hollywood outlaw Sam Elliott isn't thrilled about Benedict Cumberbatch's wild west feature, The Power Of The Dog, because it explores "homosexuality" within the cowboy community. The 77-year-old A Star Is Born actor didn't hold back when asked about director Jane Campion's Oscar-nominated Netflix drama.
"You want to talk about that piece of s--t?" he responded on Monday's WTF With Marc Maron podcast.
The Academy Award contender focuses on a traditional cowboy, played by Cumberbatch, who is confused and resistant when someone joins his family who doesn't fit in with the rest of the "men."
Elliott takes issue specifically with the wardrobe, comparing the cowboys to Chippendales dancers "who wear bowties and not much else" when they perform.
"That's what all these f---ing cowboys in that movie looked like. They're all running around in chaps and no shirts, there's all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f---ing movie," the actor states.
Elliott appears to insinuate that Campion's not qualified to make a western movie.
"She's a brilliant director, I love her previous work, but what the f--- does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West?" he asks. "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 rubbed me the wrong way, pal."
To Elliott, the theme of homosexuality in the film got beat to a pulp.
"Where are we in this world today? It's not the biggest issue at hand, but 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 claims, turning his focus on Cumberbatch.
"He had two pairs of chaps, a wooly pair and a leather pair. Every time he'd walk in from somewhere, 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---? Where's the Western in this Western?"
Well, the Academy and the rest of Hollywood don't seem to agree with Elliott's viewpoint. Campion's film — which also stars Kristen Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee — has been nominated for a whopping 12 Oscars. Campion also swooped up the award for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival.
Radar has reached out to Elliott, Cumberbatch, and Campion's representatives for comment.