UPDATE: Bruce Lee’s widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, has also spoken out against the late martial artist’s portrayal in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. Cadwell told her daughter, Shannon, that the portrayal was “awful.”
“I thought the character was like a caricature of himself and made him look stupid, silly and made to be insultingly ‘Chinesey.’ It strayed so far from the truth of who he was and of any actual encounter he had. … It was terrible to watch,” Cadwell said.
Shannon shared her mother’s response with the Los Angeles Times.
Read the original story below.
“It was really uncomfortable to sit in the theater and listen to people laugh at my father,” Shannon Lee said of her father’s portrayal in the recently-released film.
In an interview with The Wrap, Shannon Lee spoke about how her father is depicted in Tarantino’s latest film, saying that it shows Lee as “an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air,” when in reality that’s not how he was at all.
Lee, who is portrayed by Mike Moh, appears in the movie, most notably in a scene where he fights against fictional stuntman Cliff Booth, portrayed by Brad Pitt. The two agree to a best two-out-of-three rounds fight on the set of The Green Hornet TV show. Lee beats Booth in the first round but in the second, Booth slams Lee into a car and stuns him. The fight is interrupted before the third round happens.
“I can understand all the reasoning behind what is portrayed in the movie,” Shannon said. “I understand that the two characters are antiheroes and this is sort of like a rage fantasy of what would happen…and they’re portraying a period of time that clearly had a lot of racism and exclusion.”
“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,” she added.
Shannon also noted that Tarantino might’ve been trying to comment on how Lee was stereotyped as an actor “but it doesn’t come across that way.”
“He comes across as an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air,” she said. “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.”
“It was really uncomfortable to sit in the theater and listen to people laugh at my father,” she added.
“What I’m interested in is raising the consciousness of who Bruce Lee was as a human being and how he lived his life,” she continued. “All of that was flushed down the toilet in this portrayal, and made my father into this arrogant punching bag.”
However, Shannon did say Moh did a good job with some of her father’s mannerisms and his voice.
Once Upon a Time In Hollywood is Tarantino’s tenth film.
Source: The Wrap