‘Dog Power’ director Jane Campion isn’t done with Sam Elliott: after slamming down the actor’s ‘sexist’ criticism of her 12-time Oscar-nominated flick, the writer isn’t backing down and challenges him to one Mock “shootout”.
The Oscar nominee for best director threw down the gauntlet during a Friday appearance on the Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter Podcast.”
“Okay Sam, let’s get together on Warner Brothers grounds for a shootout!” Campion, 67, said host Scott Feinberg. “I’m bringing Doctor Strange with me [the Marvel character portrayed in films by Benedict Cumberbatch, who also starred in “Dog”] with me!”
She was reacting to the 77-year-old Western icon’s inflammatory appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast two weeks ago, in which he described her work as a “piece of s – – t”. The “Tombstone” star also likened the characters to Chippendales dancers “who wear bow ties and not much else.”
During his bizarre tirade, the “Road House” star singled out Campion, claiming that the New Zealand-born auteur filmmaker, while a “brilliant director,” was unfit to direct an early 20th-century western set in Montana plays.
“I love her earlier work, but what the hell does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West?” Elliott went on to rant and criticize her decision to shoot the western in her motherland.
The comments didn’t sit well with Campion, who criticized Elliott’s cowboy credentials in the THR interview. “I think it has to be said that he was a bit of a slut because he’s not a cowboy either, he’s an actor – he grew up in Sacramento and was educated in Oregon, you know?” The director of “The Piano ‘ fumed at Elliott’s decidedly uncomplicated upbringing. “We are dealing with a fictional world, we are dealing with a mythical universe.”
The Oscar winner continued: “The West is a myth, it doesn’t exist – Annie Proulx said so – and there’s plenty of room on the track to explore that myth. And that’s just another version of it.”
Campion found the ‘The Big Lebowski’ actress’ comments on her New Zealand background hypocritical given the popularity of spaghetti westerns in the US, declaring: “You know, when you think about Sergio Leone movies, where were they filmed? Filmed in Spain, it is one of the greatest explorations of Western myth ever made.”
“So, you know, I guess it’s just a bit of a crunchy cowboy problem,” she quipped.
Campion isn’t the first member of the “Dog” pack to confront Elliott. In a much softer rebuttal last week, Benedict Cumberbatch called the Ghost Rider actor’s comments “very strange.”
“Somebody really took offense at the way the West was portrayed,” said Cumberbatch, 45, who was nominated for a Best Actor award for his role as the sadistic, withdrawn gay rancher Phil Burbank.
Adding that his character is important because “these people still exist in our world,” The Imitation Game star explained, “If we’re going to understand what poisons men, what creates toxic masculinity, we have to look [under] the hood of characters like Phil Burbank to see what their fight is and why it’s there in the first place.
“Whether it’s on our doorstep or if it’s down the street or if it’s someone we meet in a bar or pub or on the sports field, there’s aggression and anger and frustration and an inability to control or know who you are in this moment harms that person and, as we know, harms those around them,” he added.