Quentin Tarantino Defends His Portrayal of Bruce Lee in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD


As you know, Quentin Tarantino’s portrayal of Bruce Lee in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been met with a lot of criticism. Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon, wasn’t happy about it, previously saying:

“He comes across as an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air, and not someone who had to fight triple as hard as any of those people did to accomplish what was naturally given to so many others.”

Lee’s protégé and training partner Dan Inosanto wasn’t a fan of how Tarantino handled Lee either. He said:

“He was never, in my opinion, cocky. Maybe he was cocky in as far as martial arts because he was very sure of himself. He was worlds ahead of everyone else. But on a set, he’s not gonna show off. Bruce Lee would have never said anything derogatory about Muhammad Ali because he worshiped the ground Muhammad Ali walked on.”

Actor Mike Moh, who played Lee in the film responded to the criticism and shared his thoughts on Tarantino’s vision. But now the filmmaker himself is addressing the criticism, and he’s standing by and defending the arrogant portrayal of Lee. During a press junket in Moscow, the director explained:

“Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy. The way he was talking, I didn’t just make a lot of that up. I heard him say things like that, to that effect. If people are saying, ‘Well he never said he could beat up Muhammad Ali,’ well yeah, he did. Not only did he say that, but his wife, Linda Lee, said that in her first biography I ever read. She absolutely said that.”

Tarantino went on to explain that his character Cliff Booth, who is played by Brad Pitt in the film, could probably beat up Bruce Lee, because he’s a fictional character that doesn’t really exist. He also talked about the reality of the situation that Booth and Lee found themselves in:

“Could Cliff beat up Bruce Lee? Brad [Pitt] would not be able to beat up Bruce Lee, but Cliff maybe could. If you ask me the question, ‘Who would win in a fight: Bruce Lee or Dracula?’ It’s the same question. It’s a fictional character. If I say Cliff can beat Bruce Lee up, he’s a fictional character so he could beat Bruce Lee up. The reality of the situation is this: Cliff is a Green Beret. He has killed many men in WWII in hand-to-hand combat. What Bruce Lee is talking about in the whole thing is that he admires warriors. He admires combat, and boxing is a closer approximation of combat as a sport. Cliff is not part of the sport that is like combat, he is a warrior. He is a combat person.”

Tarantino concluded by explaining that each person would win if they found themselves fighting in the environment they are most comfortable fighting in:

“If Cliff were fighting Bruce Lee in a martial arts tournament in Madison Square Garden, Bruce would kill him. But if Cliff and Bruce were fighting in the jungles of the Philippines in a hand-to-hand combat fight, Cliff would kill him.”

What do you think about what Tarantino had to say in defense of how he portrayed Bruce Lee?

Via: Variety

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