World-renowned movie director and producer Quentin Tarantino isn’t very receptive to criticism of Bruce Lee’s portrayal in his award-winning movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood after many viewers weren’t a fan of his scene involving the mixed martial arts legend.
In the movie, Lee, played by actor Mike Moh, is involved in a fight with an American stuntman Cliff Booth (played by Brad Pitt) on a Hollywood movie set. The scene plays out as Lee displays self-centered behavior and sure of himself against Booth, but ultimately falls to his opponent in a devastating fashion. Though the Lee cameo was brief in the movie, many around the combat sports community took issue with the way Lee was described in the film and felt it was disrespectful to the legend surrounding him.
Tarantino made a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast and was asked about the scene in question, and whether or not he felt that criticism of the scene was valid.
“Where I am coming from is I can understand his daughter having a problem with it,” Tarantino said. “It’s her fucking father. I get that. But anybody else, oh suck a dick!”
“Bruce had no respect for American stuntmen, he was always hitting them with his feet. It’s called tagging when you hit a stuntman for real. He was always tagging them with his feet and his fist and it got to the point where they would refuse to work with Bruce. Stuntmen don’t like that. That’s unprofessional.”
Lee is widely regarded as one of the early pioneers of MMA from an entertainment standpoint, and his influence is largely responsible for why the sport is where it is today in terms of its popularity and notoriety in the pop culture business. UFC stars such as Conor McGregor and president Dana White have commended Lee for being a legend that will be talked about for generations. Boxing legends such as Sugar Ray Leonard have attributed their success to Lee when it comes to his infamous jab and quick technique.
Lee passed away in 1973 at the age of 32 due to cerebral edema. Leading up to his death, Lee had taken the film business by storm including his participation in films such as Enter the Dragon and television shows such as The Green Hornet.
What are your thoughts on Quentin Tarantino’s comments regarding Bruce Lee?