Quentin Tarantino has never been one to shy away from controversy. In fact, many of his films have proven to be controversial in one way or another. The most recent case was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which depicted martial arts icon Bruce Lee in a way that Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, said was “irresponsible” and “the way white Hollywood treated [her] father when he was alive.”
On a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Tarantino said that he although understands Shannon Lee’s issues with the way her father was depicted, he has no time for others to criticize the portrayal.
“Where I am coming from is I can understand his daughter having a problem with it. It’s her fucking father. I get that,” Tarantino said, per IndieWire. “But anybody else, oh suck a dick!”
Shannon Lee said she disliked how her father was portrayed, even saying that the film depicted him as an “arrogant asshole who was full of hot air.” Tarantino said he did find Bruce Lee to be arrogant in his research, and he subsequently refused to alter Lee’s portrayal, which seemingly led the film to not be released in China. Tarantino also explained Lee’s alleged combative nature with American stuntmen, such as famous stuntman and martial artist Gene LeBell, on Rogan’s podcast:
“Bruce had no respect for American stuntmen, he was always hitting them with his feet,” Tarantino continued. “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. He had nothing but disrespect for American stuntmen. It was probably just like, ‘Oh they’re just not good enough. They are pussies. I want to make it look real!’ But stuntmen don’t like that. That’s unprofessional.”
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and its cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie, received numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
Quentin Tarantino, 58, has directed many acclaimed films, such as Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, and the Kill Bill movies, but he maintains he will retire following his next film. He said directors do not get better as they age, and he wants to get out while he is at or near the top.