Bruce Lee’s daughter is not happy with portrayal in ‘Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood’

Mike Moh Bruce Lee Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood opened in theaters over the weekend, and it stars Brad Pitt as a stuntman named Cliff Booth. The film is set during Hollywood in the ’60s, and it featured characters based on real-life people like Sharon Tate and Charles Manson. Bruce Lee was also featured in the film, and he’s played by Mike Moh. Shannon Lee, Bruce’s Lee’s daughter, has shown her dissatisfaction with how her father was portrayed in the film.

In the film, there’s a scene featuring Pitt as Cliff Booth and Moh as Bruce Lee going back and forth on who’s a better fighter on the set of The Green Hornet. You can see this scene in the trailer, and the verbal banter turned into a fighting challenge. (Spoilers ahead.) In the first round, Lee takes down Booth, and in the second, Booth gets the upper hand. The fight ends prematurely before the third round due to interference.

“I can understand all the reasoning behind what is portrayed in the movie,” Lee 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,” she continued. “But they didn’t need to treat him in the way that white Hollywood did when he was alive.”

“But it doesn’t come across that way,” she said about whether Tarantino was trying to put a light on how Lee was portrayed as a stereotype.

“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 said about her Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood viewing on Sunday.

“Here, he’s the one with all the puffery and he’s the one challenging Brad Pitt. Which is not how he was,” she said.

“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.”

She did have praises for Moh’s take on Bruce Lee’s mannerisms and voice.

“But I think he was directed to be a caricature,” Shannon Lee said.

Hollywood wasn’t ready for Bruce Lee at that time since he was cast as a sidekick In The Green Hornet. He did have an idea for a Western series, but according to his widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, Hollywood took his concept called The Warrior and turned it into a series called Kung Fu starring David Carradine. Many decades later, his concept of The Warrior has been brought to life thanks to Jonathan Tropper, Justin Lin, and Cinemax. The show has been renewed for a second season and follows a Chinese immigrant who travels to San Francisco during the late 1800s.

Source: The Wrap

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