HomeEntertainmentBenedict Cumberbatch rebuts Sam Elliott's criticism of "The Power of the Dog"

Benedict Cumberbatch rebuts Sam Elliott’s criticism of “The Power of the Dog”

The Oscar-winning actor Benedict Cumberbatch exploded over Sam Elliott’s cruel remarks on “The Power of the Dog”. Do you know what Sam Elliott just said about this movie? Phew, he called it a “piece of s***”. A Star is Born actor did not stop here, he went on criticizing our favorite Sherlock star’s movie.

What did Elliott say?

Sam Elliott is a veteran actor who is known for his sonorous and resonant voice. Oh yes, thick mustache too. He is the recipient of several accolades, including a National Board of Review Award.

Elliott has been nominated for an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Sam Elliott started his acting career in 1967 with The Way West and recently played Shae Brennon on the Paramount+ miniseries 1883 (2022). He has done more than 53 movies to date.

Elliott recently appeared on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast and revealed how he took “The Power of the Dog” portrayal of the American west seriously. He said, “I took it f****** seriously”, and further stated:

“That’s what all these fucking cowboys in that movie looked like,”  “They’re running around in chaps and no shirts. There are all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the movie.” He compared the movie’s depiction of a cowboy to Chippendale dancers.

Well, if you aren’t aware who Chippendale dancers are, let me enlighten you. They are a funky dance troupe that is best known for their striptease performances. Seems like Elliott overstepped a little. I am sure Benedict isn’t a personal target and it’s just about his views.

Phil’s character

Benedict’s recent movie The Power of the Dog is a Western psychological drama film. It is based on the 1967 novel, The Power of the Dog, written by Thomas Savage. Rural Otago, New Zealand is the place where the filming happened. It covers themes like love, grief, resentment, jealousy and sexuality.

Benedict plays the character Phil, who plays the role of the cattle rancher and eventually falls for the son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) of a widow (Kirsten Dunst). Phil struggles with his sexuality in an era where homosexuality is still taboo.

This is not the first time Benedict is portraying such a role. He played a similar role as Turing in Imitation Game too. These were the times when Turing went uncredited for his marvellous work. He was persecuted on charges of homosexuality, which was a crime in 1952.

Benedict responds back

Benedict appeared at a Bafta Film event on March 4, 2022. He was asked about the importance of a character like Phil in “The Power of the Dog”. Further, he was asked about how he managed to portray Phil’s toxic masculinity.

Cumberbatch stated that he is trying very hard not to say anything about such an odd reaction on that radio podcast, and said:

“Someone 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.” “ These people still exist in our world.”

“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.”

Well, Ben’s statement reflects that he took Elliott’s offense very seriously but I don’t think Sam Elliott commented anything on Ben per se. I think he just wanted to mock Chippendale dancers.

But again, if you have a problem with homosexuality, Elliott, you need to evolve!

Benedict’s career

Do you know that Benedict’s parents wanted him to become a lawyer? They sent him to Brambletye School (in West Sussex) and Harrow (in Northwest London). However, he had other plans. He starred in a school production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream playing the fairy queen Titania. From that moment Benedict couldn’t stay away from the stage.

Benedict starred in international cinema roles alongside Scarlett johnson,  Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. He only became well-known to the international audience when played the iconic master detective Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock. 

Rest is history. Benedict is in demand and has conquered Hollywood. And yea, he is still faithful to the theatre, and that’s why I like him even more. FYI, he earned $7.5 million for Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness plus the box office bonus.

My thoughts

There is no doubt that the Oscar-winning actor is extremely versatile. I remember his movie “The Imitation Game”. Benedict played the epic role of  “Alan Turing”. The intelligent mathematician who deciphered the codes had his share of miseries.

Benedict has played versatile characters like  Sherlock and  Doctor Strange and people love him. He surely has managed to portray a vulnerable role like Phil in Power of the Dog. The movie, however, is a bit slow and our expectations are higher from an actor like him.

Nevertheless, I believe the movie serves its purpose and Sam Elliott must have expressed his views considering his growing age. So, Benedict does not take it personally but kudos to your response. There are such people out there who still talk low.

What do you think about this incident?

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.


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