Quentin Tarantino says ‘Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy’ after backlash

Mike Moh Bruce Lee Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

There has been backlash over the portrayal of Bruce Lee in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood. Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, even chimed in on her thoughts on her disappointment with how the legendary martial arts star was depicted in the film. Tarantino defended Lee’s portrayal, and now he adds more fuel to the fire to critics.

Tarantino defended his film’s portrayal of Bruce Lee when promoting Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood at a conference in Moscow last week. Shannon Lee described her father in the movie as an “arrogant asshole who was full of hot air.” A new video shows Tarantino elaborating on Lee’s personality.

“Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy,” Tarantino said in a video courtesy of Radar magazine. “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 it.”

This contradicts reports from Robert Clouse, the director of Enter the Dragon. In his 1989 book, The Making of Enter the Dragon, he talks about how Lee knew that he had no chance against Ali. Here’s the excerpt:

“Everybody says I must fight Ali some day.” Bruce said, “I’m studying every move he makes. I’m getting to know how he thinks and moves.” Bruce knew he could never win a fight against Ali. “Look at my hand,” he said. “That’s a little Chinese hand. He’d kill me.”

In Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, Bruce Lee got beat by Cliff, the character played by Brad Pitt, in the second round of the fight. People were upset that a fictional character was able to put up a fight with Lee.

“Brad would not be able to beat up Bruce Lee, but Cliff maybe could,” Tarantino said. “If you ask me the question, ‘Who would win in a fight: Bruce Lee or Dracula?’ It’s the same question. It’s a fictional character. If I say Cliff can beat Bruce Lee up, he’s a fictional character, so he could beat Bruce Lee up.”

Via LA Times

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