Quentin Tarantino defended his portrayal of Bruce Lee in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” after Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, mentioned the portrayal of her father was “disheartening” and “uncomfortable.”
In an unique interview with TheWrap, Shannon Lee objected Tarantino for portraying Lee as “an arrogant asshole.” But talking to reporters in Moscow on Monday, Tarantino mentioned his portrayal was honest.
“Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy,” Tarantino instructed reporters. “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.”
In the movie, Brad Pitt’s stuntman character, Cliff Booth, trades cocky insults with Bruce Lee. At one level, Lee is prodded into saying he may beat Muhammad Ali.
The change results in a two-out-of-three-rounds combat between the pair by which Lee simply knocks Booth down within the first spherical, solely to be slammed right into a automobile by Booth within the second. The combat is interrupted earlier than the third spherical.
“I understand they want to make the Brad Pitt character this super bad-ass who could beat up Bruce Lee. But they didn’t need to treat him in the way that white Hollywood did when he was alive,” Shannon Lee mentioned.
“He comes across as an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air,” she mentioned. “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.”
Tarantino mentioned Lee’s boast within the movie that he would beat Ali got here from studying a biography written by Lee’s widow, Linda, in 1975.
“If people are saying, ‘Well he never said he could beat up Mohammad Ali,’ well yeah, he did,” mentioned Tarantino. “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.”
A 1987 biography of Lee written by Robert Clouse, who directed Lee in “Enter the Dragon,” mentioned that Lee mentioned the precise reverse. Clouse mentioned that in Ali’s reign as heavyweight champion, Bruce intently studied the boxer’s strikes, even establishing a projection display screen reverse a large mirror so he may imitate the motions Ali made throughout his title fights.
“Bruce knew he could never win a fight against Ali,” Clouse wrote. “‘Look at my hand,’ he said. ‘That’s a little Chinese hand. He’d kill me.’”
Matthew Polly, writer of “Bruce Lee: A Life,” mentioned on Twitter that Tarantino was probably referencing Linda Lee quoting a critic.
WRONG: Linda was quoting a TV critic. “Even the most scathing critics admitted that Bruce’s gungfu was sensational. One critic wrote: ‘Those who watched him would bet on Lee to render Cassius Clay senseless if they were put in a room and told that anything goes.” (pg. 88) (3/11)
— Matthew Polly (@MatthewEPolly) August 12, 2019
He cited a passage from a passage from Linda Lee’s “Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew”: “Even the most scathing critics admitted that Bruce’s gungfu was sensational. One critic wrote: ‘Those who watched him would bet on Lee to render Cassius Clay senseless if they were put in a room and told that anything goes.”
Tarantino mentioned he depicted Bruce Lee getting crushed up by Cliff Booth to determine Booth as a harmful particular person.
“It’s a fictional character. If I say Cliff can beat Bruce Lee up, he’s a fictional character so he may beat Bruce Lee up. The actuality of the scenario is that this: Cliff is a Green Beret. He has killed many males in WWII in hand at hand fight. What Bruce Lee is speaking about in the entire thing is that he…
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