Sam Elliott Apologizes to Benedict Cumberbatch and 'Power of the Dog' Cast: 'Sorry I Hurt Any of Those Friends'

"I said some things that hurt people, and I feel terrible about that," Sam Elliott said at Deadline's Contenders TV event on Sunday

SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations Career Retrospective With Sam Elliott
Photo: Vincent Sandoval/Getty

Sam Elliottis expressing his regrets over the controversial comments he made about Jane Campion's film, The Power of the Dog, last month.

On Sunday, the A Star Is Born actor said he wanted to "apologize to the cast of The Power of the Dog" during his talk at Deadline's Contenders TV event. "And, in particular, Benedict Cumberbatch. I can only say that I'm sorry, and I am. I am," he shared.

While promoting his Paramount+ western show 1883, Elliott, 77, began his public apology to the cast by warning the audience, "First, don't do a podcast with the call letters WTF" (as in, WTF with Marc Maron).

"I wasn't very articulate about it; I didn't articulate it very well," he explained. "And I said some things that hurt people, and I feel terrible about that."

The World Premiere Of "1883" - Arrivals
Mindy Small/FilmMagic

"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 that I loved. And anyone else by the words that I used," Elliott continued.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Representatives for Sam Elliott did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Last month, Elliott discussed the Oscar-winning film Campion, 67, wrote and directed during his appearance on Marc Maron's podcast.

Likening the look of the "cowboys" in the film to Chippendales dancers, Elliott (who has appeared in many Western-set films and television series) said, "They're all running around in chaps and no shirts. There's all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f—ing movie."

"Yeah, I think that's what the movie's about," replied host Maron.

In the film, Cumberbatch stars as a grizzled cattle rancher who is attracted to the son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) of a widow, played by Kirsten Dunst, who recently moved to his ranch. Cumberbatch's character grapples with his sexuality in an era and place that emphasizes binary gender roles and expectations.

Criticizing Campion's choice of the location to film the movie, the Oscar nominee added, "And why in the f— does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, 'This is the way it was?' "

RELATED: Sam Elliott Doritos Super Bowl Teaser

Elliott said the filming location "rubbed [him] the wrong way," along with what he calls the "myth" of "these macho men out there with the cattle."

"I just come from f—ing Texas where I was hanging out with families — not men, but families. Big, long, extended, multiple-generation families," he said.

Campion responded to Elliott's comment while speaking to Deadline last month, saying, "I think it's really unfortunate and sad for him because he's really hit the trifecta of misogyny and xenophobia and homophobia."

"I don't like that. I think he was being a little bit of a b-i-t-c-h. Plus he's not a cowboy, he's an actor," she concluded.

Related Articles