Shannon Lee recently shared that she is still clueless as to why Quentin Tarantino portrayed her father, Bruce Lee, as “the a**hole” in the 2019 movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
Key details: Speaking to The Telegraph while promoting her new book “In My Own Process,” Shannon Lee, 54, shared that she still does not know why Tarantino, 60, portrayed her father in a bad light in his 2019 film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
“It’s interesting. I’ve never met him,” Shannon Lee said. “I don’t know what his issues are with my father.”
The context: "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" depicts Bruce Lee, played by Mike Moh, as a cocky action star who challenges stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) to a three-round fight. While the late legendary martial artist wins the first round, he eventually loses the fight after Booth throws him into a car door.
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"Negative reaction": Shannon Lee added that Tarantino clearly “thinks my father is cool because he has borrowed from him quite a bit." She went on to speculate that Tarantino heard stories from people who previously encountered her father and had a "negative reaction" towards the legendary actor.
“They found him to be overly confident or arrogant," she told The Telegraph. "I have to say, in my experience, the stories are mostly from white men. I think Quentin may have been told a lot of those stories and believes them.”
Ensuing backlash: Tarantino’s cartoonish portrayal of Bruce Lee ignited backlash from his daughter and other people who knew and admired him, including NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Donnie Yen.
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His defense: Despite the backlash, Tarantino stood by the portrayal in the movie, even stating during an August 2019 press conference in Moscow that “Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy.”
Responding to Tarantino’s statement shortly after, Shannon Lee told Variety that the director could “portray Bruce Lee however he wanted to, and he did. 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.’”
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