Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, has responded to Quentin Tarantino’s defense of his portrayal of the late actor in his latest film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
“He could shut up about it,” Lee, the caretaker of her father’s estate, told Variety after being asked how Tarantino could fix the situation. “That would be really nice. Or he could apologize or he could say, ‘I don’t really know what Bruce Lee was like. I just wrote it for my movie. But that shouldn’t be taken as how he really was.’”
Tarantino defended his portrayal of the martial arts star in an interview at a press junket in Russia.
“Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy,” Tarantino said. “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.”
Shannon Lee disagrees, saying that her father wasn’t a “perfect man,” but he wasn’t arrogant, just confident.
“One of the things that’s troubling in his response is that, on the one hand, he wants to put this forward as fact and, on the other hand, he wants to stay in fiction,” she added.
“[Tarantino] can portray Bruce Lee however he wanted to, and he did,” Lee said. “But it’s a little disingenuous for him to say, ‘Well, this is how he was, but this is a fictional movie, so don’t worry too much about it.’”