Kodi Smit-McPhee on ‘The Power of the Dog’ Oscar Nom, Rapping for French Montana and If His Nightcrawler Is In ‘Doctor Strange 2’

Awards Circuit Podcast: Also, the Roundtable dissects the latest Oscar telecast controversy, and makes its SAG Awards picks.

Kodi Smit-McPhee poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'The Power of the Dog' during the 2021 BFI London Film Festival in London, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Kodi Smit-McPhee has maintained a stronghold this awards season for his work as Peter Gordon in Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog,” winning the most critics prizes, including the Golden Globe for best supporting actor. However, he doesn’t take his acting craft for granted and is still learning with each new outing.

“I always treat myself as a student, not only my craft but of the world,” McPhee tells Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast. “I’m in a constant state of observing and acting like a sponge and taking everything in. I’ve always been one, in terms of the material, I’m very picky with. I love the element of surprise. I’m sure, quite soon down the track, I’m going to have more creative control over the navigation of my industry. I like the material that shows up figuratively on my doorstep. It’s not broken in that sense. I don’t want to fix it. It’s a nice dance with faith.”

On this episode of the award-winning Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, we talk with McPhee about his role as Peter Gordon in Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” and get his reaction to be nominated for his first Academy Award. We also discuss his love of art and how that has led him to music and rapping for French Montana at a party and receiving positive feedback. Finally, he discusses whether his character Nightcrawler, from the “X-Men” universe, will have a part in the upcoming “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

But first, the Awards Circuit roundtable discusses the latest Oscar controversy surrounding eight awards not being aired live and delivers our final SAG predictions for this Sunday’s ceremony.

Listen below:

Smit-McPhee has been prominent in past features like “The Road” (2009) and “Slow West” (2015) and is in the midst of a seemingly open race, which hasn’t produced an agreed-upon frontrunner, despite names Troy Kotsur (“CODA”) and Ciarán Hinds (“Belfast”) in the mix. At 25, Smit-McPhee would be the second-youngest winner in the category’s history, sitting behind Timothy Hutton, who won for Robert Redford’s best picture winner “Ordinary People” in 1980. Based on the showing for “The Power of the Dog” at the Feb. 8 nominations announcement — where it led the field with 12 — the Netflix feature could be in for a big night.

Make sure to listen to this week’s other Awards Circuit Podcast episode with best actress nominee Jessica Chastain from “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”

Variety Awards Circuit podcast is hosted by Clayton Davis, Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Jenelle Riley and is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in movies. Michael Schneider is the producer and Drew Griffith edits. Each week, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every week.