With his acclaimed performance in the Guardian’s 2021 film of the year, The Power of the Dog, the actor talks about feeling the pain of his macho character, working with Jane Campion and the struggle to do taxidermy in LA
Earlier this week, Benedict Cumberbatch picked up his first nomination this awards season: best actor in a drama at the Golden Globes for The Power of the Dog. It will not be his last. In Jane Campion’s western, adapted from the novel by Thomas Savage, he plays Phil Burbank, a brilliant but vile cattle rancher in 1925 Montana.
Trained at the start of the century by an iconic cowboy called Bronco Henry, Phil bullies everyone: men, animals, his brother, George (Jesse Plemons) – and, particularly, George’s new wife, Rose (Kirsten Dunst), and her delicate son, Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee).