I hate Toesucker but this is pretty based
In the latest episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, writer-director Quentin Tarantino once again addressed the controversy surrounding his latest film’s depiction of Bruce Lee.
Following the 2019 release of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, some viewers expressed concern regarding one particular scene featuring Bruce Lee fighting a stuntman played by Brad Pitt. In fact, the late martial artist’s daughter Shannon Lee said Tarantino’s version of her father came across “as an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air.”
In the scene, the fictionalized Bruce (portrayed by Mike Moh) exchanges trash talk with Pitt’s character Cliff Booth on the set of real-life Lee series The Green Hornet. The scene is a flashback (or possibly a daydream), and the fight results in a draw. Bruce Lee’s widow Linda Lee Cadwell also took an issue with the depiction, calling it “a caricature of himself” that was deliberately made him “look stupid, and silly and made to be insultingly ‘Chinesey.’” Mike Moh defended the scene, and at the time Tarantino maintained that Lee had a reputation in Hollywood at the time as “kind of an arrogant guy.
Judging from his interview with Rogan, the 58-year-old Quentin’s thoughts on the scene haven’t changed much. "Where I'm coming from is...I can understand his daughter having a problem with it, it's her fucking father! I get that,” he told Rogan at the 0:30 point of the clip above. “But anybody else? Go suck a dick. And the thing about it, though, is even if you just look at it, it's obvious Cliff tricked him. That's how he was able to do it, he tricked him.”
In speaking about the scene, Tarantino suggested that his writing was inspired by stuntman Gene LeBell’s long-rumored fight with Bruce Lee on the set of Hornet.
“The stuntmen hated Bruce on The Green Hornet,” QT continued. “It’s in [martial artist biographer] Matthew Polly’s book, and before that it’s always been known. That’s why Gene LeBell was brought on, to teach Bruce respect for American stuntmen. Bruce had nothing but disrespect for stuntmen, and he was always hitting them.” He indicated that Bruce had a reputation at the time for “tagging” his fellow stuntmen, which is when he would make actual contact with them in fight scenes. “It got to the point where [people] refused to work with him.”
As for why Tarantino thinks Bruce Lee felt how he did about stuntmen, he added, “It’s like, ‘Oh they’re just not good enough, they’re pussies. I wanna make it look real.’” Rogan asked if he was hitting them to “make it look real,” to which Tarantino replied, “Yeah, but they don’t like that. That’s unprofessional.” Tarantino noted that stuntman and actor Robert Conrad had a similar reputation in the film industry, stressing that he did some “gnarly shit” when it came to stunts. “In the stunt community, he was known as, Robert ‘Never Met a Stuntman He Couldn’t Blame’ Conrad.”
Tarantino decided the scene would go down the way it did because Cliff is supposed to be “a hand-to-hand combat killer” who fought in World War II, the Inglourious Basterds filmmaker said. “If Cliff fought Bruce Lee at one of Aaron Banks’ [martial artist] Madison Square Garden tournaments, Cliff wouldn’t stand a chance against [him]. But as a killer, who has killed men before in a jungle, he’d kill Bruce Lee. He’d fucking kill him. Bruce Lee is not a killer. Bruce Lee’s never really let loose on anybody, he’s always had to keep it together in a martial artists tournament kind of way. If he’s facing a guy who could actually kill him? It’s a different story.”
Tarantino to Anyone Besides Bruce Lee’s Daughter Taking Issue With 'Once Upon a Time' Portrayal: ‘Go Suck a Dick’
In the latest episode of the 'Joe Rogan Experience,' Quentin Tarantino once again addressed the controversy surrounding his depiction of Bruce Lee.