In his spoiler-filled discussion of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (and there will be more spoilers below), our own Vince Mancini wrote about Bruce Lee’s depiction in the film, and how director Quentin Tarantino “takes Bruce Lee being a badass as such a given that he only considered how Bruce Lee [played by Mike Moh] would make Cliff Booth [Brad Pitt] look rather than vice versa.” He added, “I enjoy the scene in a way that probably doesn’t cheapen Lee’s legacy.” Bruce Lee’s daughter disagrees.
“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 told the Wrap. “He comes across as an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air. 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.” Lee (who apparently wasn’t given the script in advance like Sharon Tate’s sister) saw the film over the weekend, and “it was really uncomfortable to sit in the theater and listen to people laugh at my father.”
“Here, he’s the one with all the puffery and he’s the one challenging Brad Pitt. Which is not how he was,” she said… “What I’m interested in is raising the consciousness of who Bruce Lee was as a human being and how he lived his life. All of that was flushed down the toilet in this portrayal, and made my father into this arrogant punching bag.” (Via)
Lee thinks Moh (who has a fascinating story) gave a good performance; instead, she believes “he was directed to be a caricature,” an assessment that Bruce Lee: A Life author Matthew Polly agrees with. “The full scene with Bruce and Brad Pitt is far different than what was in the trailer. Bruce Lee was often a cocky, strutting, braggart, but Tarantino took those traits and exaggerated them to the point of a SNL caricature,” he said.
At least the scene didn’t involve someone getting hit by a car… oh wait, it kind of did. Must be in Brad’s contract.
— Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (@OnceInHollywood) July 25, 2019
(Via the Wrap)