‘Power of the Dog’ director Jane Campion on losing baby son before Oscar win

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“Power of the Dog” director Jane Campion suffered an immeasurable loss just a few months before her 1994 Oscar win.

The 67-year-old scored the Best Original Screenplay award for her work on the Holly Hunter drama “The Piano.”

However, just 10 months before the Academy Awards ceremony, Campion lost her son Jasper when he was only 2 weeks old.

Campion got candid in a Vanity Fair profile published Monday where she discussed her past trauma.

She revealed that when she won her coveted golden trophy, she was pregnant again with her daughter Alice, now 27.

“I just couldn’t do anything; I was stunned by the grief experience, and I just couldn’t work,” she said about the loss of her baby boy.

“It’s the most humanizing experience I’ve had,” Campion added. “You feel solidarity with everybody else that’s expressing grief. You can never turn your head away from somebody who’s suffering because you really know that it’s a club.”

She added, “I think most of my work comes from that part of me, which is, I’m not really in control of emotion or anything else. It’s a sort of psyche truth.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: Director and writer Jane Campion attends the screening and talk for Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog” at BFI Southbank on March 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Campion won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1994 for “The Piano.”
Stuart C. Wilson

The New York Times reported in 1993 that Campion welcomed Jasper via an emergency Caesarean section. Following the birth, she was told that he would not be able to live without an incubator. He passed almost two weeks later.

Following his death, she took a break from working and returned in 1996 to direct “Portrait of a Lady” and she wrote the script for 1999’s “Holy Smoke.”

The New Zealand-born filmmaker is nominated this year for “Power of the Dog” in the categories for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. The Benedict Cumberbatch-led drama follows the Brit as a closeted gay rancher in 1925 Montana who abuses his brother’s family.

Sam Elliot recently trashed the flick and ripped the gay themes in the storylines. “You want to talk about that piece of s — t?” the 77-year-old said on Marc Maron’s “WTF Podcast.” He then likened Cumberbatch’s costume to Chippendales dancers “who wear bowties and not much else.”

“That’s what all these f — king cowboys in that movie looked like,” the “A Star is Born” actor continued. “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f — king movie.”

THE POWER OF THE DOG, from left: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Benedict Cumberbatch, 2021.  ph: Kirsty Griffin /© Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection
Kodi Smit-McPhee and Benedict Cumberbatch in “Power of the Dog.”
©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

“Where’s the Western in this Western?” Elliott asked. “I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his f — king chaps. 

The “Imitation Game” star responded to Elliot’s criticism on March 7, saying: “Someone really took offense to the West being portrayed in this way. 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.”

“If we are to understand what poisons the well in men, what creates toxic masculinity, we need to look [under] the hood of characters like Phil Burbank to see what their struggle is and why that’s there in the first place,” he explained. “Otherwise it will continue to repeat itself.”

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