So there is a reason behind why Quentin Tarantino portrayed Bruce Lee as such an arrogant jacka** is his latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It’s because he thinks the legendary martial artist was, indeed, arrogant.
In a press conference to promote his film in Moscow, Tarantino defended the controversial portrayal of a cocky Lee in his film. “Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy,” the director said.
Lee’s portrayal in the film earned the ire of his daughter Shannon Lee and his martial arts protege Dan Inosanto who went on the record to call out the “mockery” of the beloved Hollywood star. In the film, he was played by Mike Moh who is seen talking smack about Muhammad Ali and picking a fight with the evenly matched fictional stuntman Cliff Booth played by Brad Pitt.
“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. If people are saying, ‘Well he never said he could beat up Muhammad Ali,’ well yeah, he did. Not only did he say that, but his wife, Linda Lee, said that in her first biography I ever read. She absolutely said that,” Tarantino said explaining the distasteful way he portrayed Lee.
However, many disagree with Tarantino even his fans. In the video of the press conference that Radar Magazine uploaded on YouTube, people took to the comment section to express their dismay of the director defending the questionable decision.
One user wrote, “My all time favorite film director. I just can’t agree with him on this one.” Another user went on to write, “Big fan of Quentin but he’s talking bull**** about something that he does not fully understand and is too much of an egocentric character to admit when he’s wrong.”
It’s hard to blame fans with Tarantino’s record of not owning up to his wrongs. Which brings us to the discussion of how powerful white men in Hollywood need to be accountable for their actions but that’s a story for another day.
Samantha is the head of content and politics columnist for Best in Australia. Prior to joining the Best in Au, she was a court and crime reporter at SM.