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Benedict Cumberbatch Responds To ‘The Power Of The Dog’ Criticism




Benedict Cumberbatch has responded to Sam Elliott’s criticism of his Oscar-nominated film The Power of the Dog.

The 45-year-old British actor plays Phil Burbank, a misogynistic rancher in 1925 Montana. The film places a large amount of focus on Phil and the origins of his prejudice, eluding to his suppressed sexuality and romantic feelings towards his deceased mentor, Bronco Henry.

Speaking during part of BAFTA’s Film Sessions on Friday (March 4), Cumberbatch explained the importance of playing characters like Phil while addressing Eliott’s recent assertion that the film was a “piece of s**t”.

“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. Without meaning to stir over the ashes of that… someone really took offence to – I haven’t heard it so it’s unfair for me to comment in detail on it – to the West being portrayed this way.”


“These people still exist in our world,” he said. “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.”

“There’s no harm in looking at a character to get to the root causes of that. This is a very specific case of repression, but also due to an intolerance for that true identity that Phil is that he can’t fully be.” Cumberbatch added, “The more we look under the hood of toxic masculinity and try to discover the root causes of it, the bigger chances we have of dealing with it when it arises with our children.”

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