Quentin Tarantino Defends ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ From Bruce Lee Backlash

Quentin Tarantino Bruce Lee Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Quentin Tarantino defends his depiction of Bruce Lee in his film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood following criticism from Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee.

In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Bruce Lee is portrayed by actor Mike Moh. Although Moh’s performance had been praised by critics and audiences alike for looking and sounding similar to the real-life Bruce Lee, Shannon Lee was left upset by how Quentin Tarantino wrote the role, claiming that it made Bruce Lee come across as an “arrogant asshole.”

Quentin Tarantino defended his portrayal of Bruce Lee in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood during the film’s press conference in Moscow:

“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. Alright? Not only did he say that but his wife, Linda Lee, said that in her first biography I ever read. She absolutely said that.”

In regards to how the fight scene between Bruce Lee and Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) was portrayed, Quentin Tarantino continued to defend his portrayal, expressing the fact that in his reimagining of 1960’s Hollywood, a fictional character like Cliff Booth could beat up Bruce Lee:

“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.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is not the first time Quentin Tarantino reimagined real-life events and people for his films. He followed the revisionist history formula in his acclaimed film Inglourious Basterds. 

What do you make of these comments by Quentin Tarantino? Do you agree with his defense of the film’s portrayal of Bruce Lee? Sound off in the comments below.

Here is the official synopsis for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood:

Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Mike Moh, and Al Pacino.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is in theaters now.

Source: Radar Magazine via YouTube

Noah Villaverde

Noah Villaverde

Cinema lover. Saxophone player. Coffee consumer. Chronic complainer. Oh, I also write. #TeamHeroic