Domain Registration

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

  • August 13, 2019


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

Quentin Tarantino is standing by his controversial depiction of Bruce Lee in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

The cocky depiction of the late martial arts star has received criticism from Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee (who called it a “mockery”), and Lee’s biographer. But Tarantino defended it when speaking to reporters in Moscow, where the film is just opening.

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

The “Once” portrayal features Brad Pitt’s fictional stuntman Cliff Booth listening to Lee (played by Mike Moh) boast about his fighting prowess during a down moment on set. Eventually Booth goads Lee into saying that he could beat heavyweight boxing champion Cassius Clay in a fight.

During the fight that follows, Booth throws Lee into a car during an attempted high kick.

Was Bruce Lee that cocky?: Fact-checking Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Brad Pitt’s returns: Full hotness in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

“He comes across as an arrogant (expletive) who was full of hot air,” Shannon Lee told The Wrap about the portrayal of her father. “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.” 

“Bruce Lee was often a cocky, strutting braggart, but Tarantino took those traits and exaggerated them to the point of caricature,” Matthew Polly, author of “Bruce Lee: A Life,” told USA TODAY. Polly took special exception with Lee boasting about beating Clay (later Muhammad Ali).

But, Tarantino said in Moscow, Lee did brag about beating Clay, as told by wife Linda Lee “in the first biography I ever read, Linda Lee’s ‘The Man Only I Knew.’ She absolutely said that.”

As for the thumping at the hands of Booth in the movie, Tarantino says its a work of fiction. 

“Brad (Pitt) would not be able to beat up Bruce Lee, but 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.”

Tarantino pointed out that Booth is a Green Beret trained to kill.

“He has killed many men in World War II in hand-to-hand combat. He is a killer,” said Tarantino. “If Cliff were fighting Bruce Lee in a marital arts tournament in Madison Square Garden, Bruce Lee would kill him. If Cliff and Bruce Lee were fighting in the jungles of the Philippines in a hand-to-hand combat fight, Cliff would kill him.” 

Post to Facebook


A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

  • 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
  • Pitt cemented his heartthrob status early in his career,2 of 59
  • Pitt famously dated Gwyneth Paltrow, just one of his3 of 59
  • Pitt and Paltrow were a hot couple at the Oscars on4 of 59
  • Pitt poses with Harrison Ford at the premiere of their5 of 59
  • Pitt tried out some facial hair to accessorize his6 of 59
  • Pitt and Paltrow split in 1997, and he fell for Jennifer7 of 59
  • The two were the hot couple at Vanity Fair's Oscar8 of 59
  • The newlyweds share their famous wedding photo, taken9 of 59
  • Pitt suits up for the premiere of Snatch in London10 of 59
  • Pitt and Aniston hit the Golden Globes red carpet in11 of 59
  • Pitt rocked a full beard at the premiere of The Bourne12 of 59
  • Pitt and Aniston arrive at the Full Frontal premiere13 of 59
  • Aniston and Pitt kept it casual at the Independent14 of 59
  • Looking lovey-dovey, Pitt and Aniston watch the 200315 of 59
  • Pitt gazed deeply into our eyes for a portrait in New16 of 59
  • Pitt and Aniston wore black together on May 10, 200417 of 59
  • The couple were still going strong at the premiere18 of 59
  • Aniston and Pitt were the cool Emmys couple on the19 of 59
  • Pitt's wedding ring was on display as he arrived at20 of 59
  • Pitt poses in Rome to promote Ocean's Eleven on Dec.21 of 59
  • Pitt caused a stir when he arrived at Narita International22 of 59
  • Pitt appeared alone at the premiere of Mr.  Mrs.23 of 59
  • Pitt sported dark hair with Jolie at the World Economic24 of 59
  • Pitt smiles during a news conference in New Orleans25 of 59
  • Dad Brad emerged in 2006. Here he is in Mumbai on Nov.26 of 59
  • Pitt shows up at The Good Shepherd premiere in New27 of 59
  • Brangelina were the epitome of cool as they navigated28 of 59
  • Pitt and Jolie were pure glam at the Golden Globes29 of 59
  • They worked the red carpet at the premiere of A Mighty30 of 59
  • Pitt had a heavy load when he visited a playground31 of 59
  • Pitt attends a press conference for the Global Green32 of 59
  • Pitt and Jolie laugh together on May 24, 2007 in Cannes,33 of 59
  • Their cuddling was on display at the Critics Choice Awards at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Jan. 7, 2008.34 of 59
  • The couple's love blossomed as a pregnant Jolie posed35 of 59
  • On July 2, 2008, Pitt carries Zahara and Shiloh into36 of 59
  • Pitt's bud George Clooney joined him to hype Burn37 of 59
  • True love. Brangelina at the quot;Saltquot; premiere on July 19, 2010, in Hollywood.38 of 59
  • Pitt attends a gala screening of Burn After Reading39 of 59
  • They look like they're on a movie set, but they were40 of 59
  • Pitt caused buzz on Capitol Hill when he posed with41 of 59
  • Pitt bonded with former president Bill Clinton  during42 of 59
  • Pitt attends the Megamind premiere on Nov. 29, 201043 of 59
  • When in Rome ... cuddle for the cameras and promote44 of 59
  • Pitt laughs during a Moneyball press conference at45 of 59
  • This is a somewhat rare shot of the entire globe-trotting family, taken Nov. 8, 2011, at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.46 of 59
  • Jolie made big headlines at the 2012 Oscars by sticking47 of 59
  • The two were tight on Feb. 13, 2012, at the Cinema for Peace Gala ceremony during the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.48 of 59
  • Pitt sported long hair and glasses back in Cannes on49 of 59
  • Pitt went for really long hair during his World War50 of 59
  • Pitt smiles and sports a ponytail for the premiere51 of 59
  • In this Nov. 5, 2015 file photo, Jolie and Pitt arrive52 of 59
  • The Summer 2017 edition of GQ Style featured a significantly53 of 59
  • Pitt speaks onstage during the 22nd Annual Hollywood54 of 59
  • Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are seen in all their 1970s55 of 59
  • Brad Pitt is back in the spotlight in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.56 of 59
  • Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: LENT20757 of 59
  • Actors Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio pose for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: LENT14758 of 59
  • Brad Pitt takes a selfie with a fan at the Sony Pictures' Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California.59 of 59

Article source:

Related News


Find best hotel offers