Bruce Lee's Daughter Hates How Tarantino Portrayed Her Father in 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'
Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, says she was "uncomfortable" watching how Quentin Tarantino portrayed her late father in "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" and hated that the director turned the martial arts legend into "an arrogant punching bag.”
In the movie, if you haven't seen it, Lee (played by Mike Moh) is boasting to everyone on the set of "The Green Hornet" that he's invincible and that he could even "cripple" Cassius Clay (as boxing great Muhammad Ali was known at the time.) That's when stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) challenges him to a best "two out of three" fight.
Lee wins the first round, laying out Booth with a kick to the chest, but in the next round, Booth throws Lee so hard against a car, it leaves a dent. They are interrupted before they can fight the third round.
Shannon Lee told The Wrap, "I understand that the two characters [Booth and DiCaprio's Rick Dalton] are antiheroes and this is sort of like a rage fantasy of what would happen… and they’re portraying a period of time that clearly had a lot of racism and exclusion.”
She added: "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.”
She thought maybe Tarantino was trying to make a point about how Lee was stereotyped during his lifetime,"but it doesn’t come across that way.”
Shannon Lee is upset that in the film, her father "comes across as an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air." She said, "It was really uncomfortable to sit in the theater and listen to people laugh at my father."
She didn't have an issue with Moh, who plays her father, but says, "I think he was directed to be a caricature."
Matthew Polly, the author of “Bruce Lee: A Life” also had an issue with how the future "Enter the Dragon" star was portrayed.
"Bruce Lee was often a cocky, strutting, braggart, but Tarantino took those traits and exaggerated them to the point of an 'SNL' caricature," Polly said.
He added that he thinks Tarantino didn't do his homework on Bruce Lee: "Bruce revered Cassius Clay; he never trash-talked him in real life. Bruce never used jumping kicks in an actual fight. And even if he did, there wasn’t a stuntman in Hollywood fast enough to catch his leg and throw him into a car."
[Via The Wrap]