Defending his art. Benedict Cumberbatch is taking ownership over his work in The Power of the Dog after Sam Elliott criticized the film’s “allusions of homosexuality.”Cumberbatch, 45, portrays Phil Burbank, a closeted rancher in 1825 Montana, in the Oscar-nominated movie directed by Jane Campion.
During a recent BAFTA Film Sessions interview, the British actor opened up about the apparent backlash his role has sparked.“I’m trying very hard not to say anything about a very odd reaction that happened the other day on a radio podcast over here,” the Emmy winner began. “Someone really 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.”The Sherlock star continued: “Beyond that reaction, that sort of denial that anybody could have any other than a heteronormative existence because of what they do for a living or where they’re born, there’s also a massive intolerance within the world at large towards homosexuality still and toward an acceptance of the other and anything kind of difference.
No more so than in this prism of conformity of what’s expected of a man in the Western archetype mold of masculinity. To deconstruct that through Phil, it’s not a history lesson.”Elliott, 77, made headlines last month for his comments about the male characters in The Power of the Dog, comparing them to Chippendale dancers who “wear bow ties and not much else.” During an interview on the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast, the A Star Is Born actor called the movie a “piece of s–t” that didn’t fit into the western genre.“Cumberbatch never got out of his f–king chaps.