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Bruce Lee's daughter: Quentin Tarantino should 'shut up about' dad's depiction already

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Brad Pitt and Leo DiCaprio star in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which has released its official trailer.
USA TODAY

Bruce Lee’s daughter has a solution for how “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” director/writer Quentin Tarantino could remedy the actor/martial artist’s portrayal: Frankly speaking, he could zip it, Shannon Lee said. 

“He could shut up about it,” the 50-year-old, who keeps her dad’s memory alive via efforts like the Bruce Lee Foundation and a podcast, said to Variety. “That would be really nice. Or he could apologize or he could say, ‘I don’t really know what Bruce Lee was like. I just wrote it for my movie. But that shouldn’t be taken as how he really was.’ ”

Recently, Tarantino described Lee as somewhat cocky while defending the portrayal to reporters in Moscow. 

“Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy,” he said. “I didn’t make a lot of this up. I heard him say things like that.”

“Brad (Pitt) would not be able to beat up Bruce Lee, but (Pitt’s character) Cliff maybe could,” said Tarantino. “If I’m saying Cliff could beat Bruce Lee up, he’s a fictional character. Then he could beat Bruce Lee up.”

Quentin Tarantino defends ‘arrogant’ Bruce Lee depiction in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Bruce Lee’s daughter slams dad’s ‘caricature’ portrayal in ‘Once Upon A Time in Hollywood’

For Shannon, Tarantino’s reply doesn’t fly. 

“One of the things that’s troubling in his response is that, on the one hand, he wants to put this forward as fact and, on the other hand, he wants to stay in fiction,” she told Variety. 

“(Tarantino) can portray Bruce Lee however he wanted to, and he did,” she said. “But it’s a little disingenuous for him to say, ‘Well, this is how he was, but this is a fictional movie, so don’t worry too much about it.’”

Was Bruce Lee THAT cocky? We fact-check Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon A Time in Hollywood’

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Last month, Shannon ripped her father’s depiction in the film, released July 26, in an interview with The Wrap

“He comes across as an arrogant (expletive) who was full of hot air,” Shannon told the outlet. “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.” 

Shannon also said her father aimed to dodge scuffles. “Here, he’s the one with all the puffery and he’s the one challenging Brad Pitt,” she said. “Which is not how he was.”

Viewing the movie was distressing for Shannon. “It was really uncomfortable to sit in the theater and listen to people laugh at my father,” she said.

Contributing: Bryan Alexander

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  • CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 21: Brad Pitt attends the screening of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic) ORG XMIT: 775340043 ORIG FILE ID: 11507826141 of 59
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