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Benedict Cumberbatch fans react to actor ‘channelling’ Sam Elliott after The Power of the Dog row

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Benedict Cumberbatch fans were delighted by the Power of the Dog actor’s “Sam Elliott impression” on last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live.

Elliott had previously criticised The Power of the Dog and its Oscar-winning director Jane Campion, but later apologised to the cast and “in particular Benedict Cumberbatch” for his comments about the film.

Cumberbatch, who hosted SNL on Saturday (7 May) with musical guest Arcade Fire, donned a plaid shirt, white wig and a bushy moustache for one of the skits, also affecting a deep-toned southern American accent.

Fans were quick to point out the similarity to veteran actor Elliott – best known for his work in Hollywood westerns.

In the skit, Cumberbatch’s character is part of a focus group for Blue Bunny ice creams. Fans praised his “impersonation” as splendid.

One fan wrote under the YouTube video: “Benedict channeling Sam Elliott is the treat I didn’t know I needed.”

Another person commented: “Benedict doing a Sam Elliott impression has to be one of SNL’s best skit especially ‘cause of how much he hated The Power of the Dog movie.”

One YouTube user said they appreciated that “Cumberbatch is brave enough to directly parody Sam Elliott” after the Academy Award nominee criticised the 2021 film.

“I think we should make Benedict Cumberbatch an honorary Texan,” another fan wrote, in praise of his accent and performance.

While appearing on comedian Marc Maron’s WTF podcast in February, Elliott said he took The Power of the Dog’s portrayal of the American west as “f***** personal”.

Elliott compared the cowboys in Campion’s movie to Chippendales dancers who “wear bowties and not much else”, adding: “That’s what all these f***ing cowboys in that movie looked like.”

“They’re running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions of homosexuality throughout the movie,” he told Maron.

He later retracted his criticisms against The Power of the Dog in an interview with Deadline on 10 April.

Elliott said: “I told the WTF podcaster that I thought Jane Campion was a brilliant director, and I want to apologise to the cast of The Power of the Dog, brilliant actors all.”

“And in particular Benedict Cumberbatch. I can only say that I’m sorry and I am. I am,” the 78-year-old added.

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