Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one of the most star-studded movies in recent memory, with sublime performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell, the late Luke Perry, and Lena Dunham (sure!). But it’s a lesser-known name in the cast that provides one of the film’s best scenes.
Mike Moh portrays martial arts legend Bruce Lee, whose “hands are registered as lethal weapons,” as he tells Pitt’s Cliff Booth before a friendly fight. The actor also owns a gym in Waunakee, Wisconsin (“Moh’s Martial Arts in Waunakee offers martial arts training for the entire family”!), which is slightly different than starring in a big Hollywood movie with more Oscar nominees than you count on one registered lethal weapon. So, as Tarantino tells it, you can understand his reaction to walking into a script reading with the likes of Leo and Brad.
“He’s an actor, he’s done the show Inhumans, but basically runs a dojo out of Wisconsin. And so, he got the part, and he’s going to go back to Wisconsin but he got the part soon enough so he could stay a few days so he could be at the script reading,” the filmmaker told Entertainment Weekly. “He shows up there, and he doesn’t really know who’s in the movie… and then Brad walks in the door, and then Leo walks through the door, then Margot walks through the door, and Al Pacino walks through the door, and Burt Reynolds walks through the door, and Luke Perry walks through the door… and he’s like flipping the f out.”
I would also flip the f out if DiCaprio walked into the room I was in. But then we’d become best buds and vape together on his private yacht. Anyway, according to Tarantino, Moh kept telling himself, “Keep it cool, just keep it cool. Don’t let everybody know that you are freaking out to sit at this table.” Pitt’s reaction to hearing this: “Aww. That’s awesome. That’s a Hollywood story.”
Actually (#actually), it’s a Once Upon a Time in Hollywood story, and a lot of people are interesting in reading, er, seeing it. The film earned $5.8 million during Thursday night previews, which is around what Pokémon Detective Pikachu and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum made earlier this summer. The movie has a shot at becoming the biggest opener of Tarantino’s career, surpassing the $38 million made by Inglourious Basterds. Stay tuned.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)