Sam Elliott sorry for calling ‘Power of the Dog’ a ‘piece of s–t’

Sam Elliott has apologized for trashing Jane Campion’s Oscar-winning Western “The Power of the Dog,” saying he feels terrible for calling the film “a piece of s–t.”

The 77-year-old actor offered up the mea culpa on Sunday, more than a month after making shooting comments about the flick on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast.

“First, don’t go do a podcast whose call letters are WTF,” Elliott joked during Deadline’s Contenders TV event on Sunday.

He went on to claim that “The Power of the Dog actually “struck a chord” with him.

“I told the ‘WTF’ podcaster [Maron] that I thought Jane Campion was a brilliant director, and I want to apologize to the cast of ‘The Power of the Dog.’ Brilliant actors all,” Elliott declared. “And in particular Benedict Cumberbatch. I can only say that I’m sorry and I am. I am.”

On the “WTF” podcast, Elliott — who has starred in several classic Western movies himself — didn’t hold back when quizzed about Campion’s film, which revolves around a closeted cowboy living in 1920s Montana.

Elliott said his thoughts on the film were not “very articulate.” He also insisted that the movie “struck a chord” with him.
Christopher Polk

“You want to talk about that piece of s – – t?” the actor offensively asked.

Elliott claimed the male actors in the movie looked like Chippendales dancers because they “wear bowties and not much else.”

“That’s what all these f – – king cowboys in that movie looked like,” the actor fumed. “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f – – king movie.”

“Where’s the Western in this Western?” Elliott continued. “I mean, [actor Benedict] Cumberbatch never got out of his f – – king chaps.”

Benedict Cumberbatch, left, and Jesse Plemons in a scene from "The Power of the Dog."
Benedict Cumberbatch, left, and Jesse Plemons in a scene from “The Power of the Dog.”
Kirsty Griffin

In offering up his apology on Sunday, Elliott added that his thoughts were not “very articulate.”

He also apologized to the gay community for the remarks, which many constructed as homophobic.

“I said some things that hurt people and I feel terrible about that,” he declared. “The gay community has been incredible to me my entire career. And I mean my entire career, from before I got started in this town. Friends on every level and every job description up until today. I’m sorry I hurt any of those friends and someone I loved. And anyone else by the words that I used.”

Elliot’s initial criticisms sparked a harsh response from Campion — who won Best Director for the film at last month’s Oscars.

Director Jane Campion
Director Jane Campion claimed Elliott was not in a position to be questioning whether something was or wasn’t authentically “Western.”

She claimed Elliott was not in a position to be criticizing whether something was or wasn’t authentically “Western.”

“It has to be said, I think, he was being a bit of a bitch, because, you know, he’s not a cowboy either, he’s an actor — he grew up in Sacramento and was educated in Oregon. . . We’re dealing in a fictional world, we’re dealing in a mythic universe,” she told Variety.

“The West is a myth, it doesn’t exist — Annie Proulx said that — and there’s a lot of room on the range to explore that myth. And this is just another version of it, ”Campion further said of her film from her.

The Oscar nominated later humorously challenged Elliot to a Western-style “shootout” at the Warner Bros. movie lot.


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