Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood has received numerous accolades and both audience and critic praise. However, the alternative history comedy drama has one supporting character’s real life relative dismayed.
Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon recently spoke against how the movie represents her father. Played by Mike Moh, Bruce Lee doesn’t have a large role in the story. We previously reported on the Internet’s excitement that an Asian actor and martial artist received the role last summer.
In Bruce’s biggest scene, the film’s fictional protagonist Clif Booth (Brad Pitt) challenges him to a fight. While Bruce easily bests him in the first round, Clif cleanly knocks him down in the second. The match is interrupted and never concludes, but Bruce, one of the world’s most legendary martial artists and performers, is essentially used to illustrate Clif’s physical prowess and mastery.
Shannon feels that the movie patronizes and mocks Lee in the same way he was degraded by white Hoollywood during his life. She lamented, “He comes across as an arrogant a–hole who was full of hot air.”
She also adds that her father was “someone who had to fight triple as hard as any of those people did to accomplish what was naturally given to so many others.
Shannon had eagerly attended the movie, only to be appalled at how it handled him. She says “It was really uncomfortable to sit in the theater and listen to people laugh at my father.”
She thinks the movie failed to do him justice as both a professional performer and martial artist, declaring “Here, he’s the one with all the puffery and he’s the one challenging Brad Pitt. Which is not how he was.”
Shannon also noted that while the movie is set in the 1960’s, her father is dressed in his clothes from the 1970’s, specifically when he was working on Enter the Dragon before his death. While she was only 4, when she lost him, she remembers him well and fondly.
She lovingly recalls, “When he focused his attention on you, it was like having the sun shine on you. That feeling has stayed with me my whole life.”