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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’s Bruce Lee Actor Responds To Outrage


The actor who portrays Bruce Lee in Once Upon
a Time in Hollywood has broken his silence about the recent backlash. If you still haven’t seen Quentin Tarantino’s
latest film, be warned: There are some major spoilers ahead! Shortly after the July 26th world premiere
of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon sharply criticized the film’s
portrayal of her late, legendary father. Shannon felt the movie made a “mockery” out
of the martial arts master, telling TheWrap that “[Quentin Tarantino made him look like] an
arrogant a—— who was full of hot air.” The controversial scene in question involves
a fight between Bruce Lee and Brad Pitt’s character, stuntman Cliff Booth – a scuffle
that eventually finds Booth shoving Lee against the side of a car. “Anybody kills anybody in a fight they go
to jail. It’s called manslaughter.” In an interview with Birth.Movies.Death, Mike
Moh – the actor who portrays Bruce Lee – revealed he had some major issues with the first version
of the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood script. “I’m not going to tell you what the original
script had exactly, but when I read it, I was so conflicted because he’s my hero – Bruce
in my mind was literally a god. He wasn’t a person to me, he was a superhero. And I think that’s how most people view Bruce.” But Moh firmly believes Tarantino has a lot
of respect for Bruce Lee. The actor points out that Lee didn’t actually
lose the fight: it was technically a tie. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll remember that
Lee wins the first round and loses the second. The battle is broken up before the winner
can be determined in a third round. Moh also makes a point to say: “The thing about it is, number one, it’s a
Tarantino film. He’s not going to do the thing that everybody
expects anybody else to do. You’ve got to expect the unexpected. And number two, I knew from the jump, Tarantino
loves Bruce Lee; he reveres him.” To Moh, the fight scene wasn’t about disrespecting
the beloved Hong Kong-American actor. It was about establishing Cliff Booth as a
force to be reckoned with: “It’s a hugely important scene – what better
way to show how dangerous Cliff is than for him to show up and even match him for a little
bit with Bruce? […] At that moment when I get slammed, that’s
when Bruce realizes, oh s—, this guy is not just a stunt guy.’ Because Bruce didn’t always have the most
affection for stuntmen; he didn’t respect all of them, because he was better than all
the stunt guys. So after I got slammed, I get serious.” Moh also admitted, “I can see how people might think Bruce got
beat because of the impact with the car, but you give me five more seconds and Bruce would
have won.” And what if the fight had really happened
on the set of The Green Hornet, the real-life television series starring Lee as the Green
Hornet’s masked driver Kato? Moh thinks it would’ve motivated Lee to continue
improving his martial arts skills. “I know people are going to be up in arms
about [the scene], but when I went into my deep dive of studying Bruce, he more than
anybody wanted people to know he’s human. And I think I respect him more knowing that
he had these challenges, these obstacles, just like everybody [else]. I don’t know any actor out there that doesn’t
have some sense of wanting to be more – and I think that’s the sign of somebody that wants
greatness, and will achieve greatness, always wanting more.” Nevertheless, some viewers are going to have
a tough time with Tarantino’s creative choices here. As Bruce Lee biographer Matthew Polly told
TheWrap: “[Tarantino] could have achieved the same
effect – using Bruce to make Brad Pitt’s character look tough – without the mockery.” Tarantino, for his part, remained silent on
the situation. Ha, just kidding, you think he would sit this
one out? During a film premiere press conference in
Moscow, the director reminded everyone that his movies are make-believe. “Could Cliff beat up Bruce Lee? Brad would not be able to beat up Bruce Lee,
but Cliff maybe could,[,,,] 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. He’s a fictional character so he could beat
Bruce Lee up. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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100 Comments

  1. yew 2oob Author

    Hollywood took Bruce Lee's idea of the tv show Kung Fu and cast a white actor. His ideas were stolen.

    MMA fighter's all look up to Bruce Lee but people still denigrate him. His legacy forgotten.

    Now that he's been dead for a long time they misrepresent who he was. His memory is tarnished.

    Reply
  2. joo han kueh Author

    It's not Bruce losing that was the problem. It's the way the Bruce character was protrayed. Mike's gotta do what he's gotta do to get more gigs. Just don't bullshit yourself and the audience. We are not that stupid.

    Reply
  3. Alf Jones - Evan Moore Bacon lll Author

    This was a very difficult quandary for me to resolve: I love Quentin as much as i love Bruce. But Q crossed the line. Some names are too ineffably sublime, sacrisanct to mar, or desecrate by touching with our flawed humanity… As far as I am concerned, you dont render a picture of Muhammad and you don't depict a spurious Lee with levity so arrant it can only be taking as a deliberate affront against a timeless cultural icon… Sorry Q but what you did was criminal and I must regretfully yet dutifully renounce you if you do not proffer an apology to Lee and his family.

    Reply
  4. R.G. Studios Author

    it's just a movie, it don't mean anything like it or hate it, who really cares, we all love the MYTH of Bruce lee and THIS only says there is another story to be told about Bruce Lee THAT is wating to be a hit, Just Think for a moment IF the Actor who played Bruce Lee was Hire to be Bruce Lee in another story that had the elements of the Myth of Lee and was itself a film lee could have done if he had not died with Action base plot lines …this would have been a very Different ending indeed

    Reply
  5. Myrrah Author

    Nah, don't have to calm the damn dumb fan. Everybody with half of the brain know that MMA fighters now can maul Bruce Lee's face in seconds

    Reply
  6. Jack Beddows Author

    As to him potentially losing a scuffle: Bruce got into fights with stuntmen, including Judo Jean Labelle, who got the better of Bruce, just like he did to Steven Seagal 30 years later. I love Bruce, but he wasn't a professional fighter, and there were actual very tough men out there, usually grapplers, who out weighed him by 70lbs that could wrap him up no problem. It's why God invented weight classes. Who would win, Mayweather or Tyson? Same thing. As to him being portrayed as a buffoon, as claimed by critics of the movie: I don't think he was portrayed as a buffoon, but rather as what he was. He was about 26 years old, coming up, and somewhat arrogant, mostly rightly so. He could be deep, philosophical, disciplined, and still be a young man too full of himself from time to time, it's called being human.

    Reply
  7. Timothy Harrison Author

    Whatever the half wits think… including taranatino (an over inflated ego himself)… slander and libel are real… as an icon Bruce represented more than what he was portrayed as and unlike Dracula he was a real person… his daughter is a real person… his estate is a real entity (just like Tolkiens)…Tarantino and his "justifiers"are absolutely wrong and this portrayal amounts to a slander against Lee and his estate… I hope tarantino is punished accordingly and that his estate and daughter Shannon achieve justice for this great man (who would have kicked Ali around like a clown… if he had to)

    Reply
  8. bigconan Author

    IN a recent interview, when asked about the controversy, Tarantino said that bruce was an arrogant blow hard…that doesn't sound like someone who you revere…just the opposite…people often mistake confidence with arrogance…

    Reply
  9. Jay Khwaja Author

    I can't imagine what Shannon Lee would do if she came across Tarantino and not apologising for the portrayal of Bruce Lee, Ouch, that'll Hurt!!!!!!!

    Reply
  10. ShadowFall Author

    He did great in the movie, sure his fighting style is nowhere near the level of Bruce Lee, but he did a solid job portraying the legend and dont hate on him, its pointless, most people are just joining the heat, even though they havent seen the movie yet.

    Reply
  11. Phillip Castro Author

    I think shannon was more mad because Bruce is not a fiction character he was a real guy that was pretty much one of the best fighers if not the best fighter pound for pound ever who did not get to show his full potential an died at an eraly age i know i myself would have loved to see him finish his movie career the just took off an ended briefly

    Reply
  12. Europa Uber Alles Author

    Bruce Lee retired undefeated. You have to understand just how proficient he was.

    His amatuer and professional record when he retired undefeated was 0-0-0

    Reply
  13. Oliver Chong Author

    Bruce Lee isn’t a fictional character though is he? That’s the problem here. Should have just left Bruce Lee out of this movie, period. Geezer isn’t some sideshow set piece FFS! There wouldn’t be a fight, just Brad hitting the ground. Roll credits!

    Reply
  14. 16shogunelitegreen Author

    I can't believe I didn't recognize Mike Moh. He played Triton in Marvel's Inhumans and Danny/Kamen Rider Axe in Kamen Rider Dragon Knight

    Reply
  15. paul young Author

    Personally, I really like Bruce Lee. I also think that he has made a lot of contributions to martial arts. I like Quentin Tarantino and think he is a good director. However, I think that Bruce Lee's contribution far exceeds Tarantino. He gave us Jeet Kune Do. Bruce Lee was a real Kung Fu master. Having said that, Tarantino has the right to make his film. That is his freedom. We have movies criticizing people, from making fun of Jesus Christ to making fun of Lincoln. I think it's weird… we can make fun of Jesus, but we can not make fun of Bruce Lee. I am not saying that I agree with Tarantino. However, just because I disagree with him, this does not mean that I disagree with his freedom to make movies. This is not a documentary. This is a fictional piece.

    Reply
  16. Joaquin Vargas Author

    How the world can a director say he reveals Bruce Lee, and portray him as an arrogant and that's so good martial artist, losing around to a stuntman, and the guy who played Bruce Lee what a joke he is, his superhero? Saying that Bruce Lee didn't respect that many stuntman, ask a stuntman who worked with Bruce to see if that is true, even Jackie Chan had nothing else but praises who was a stuntman two of Bruce Lee's movies, he just sold out his hero for money, bottom line

    Reply
  17. Living In The Truth Ministries Author

    Come on people the man is in his grave stop digging him up.. how would anyone feel bout their past loved ones memories being tainted like that specially when it is a lie?.. leave that man alone he is not alive to defend himself.. because of this I lost total respect for Quentin and anyone else who is going along with this.. I believe that no one should support this movie because it's a disgrace to Bruce Lee's memory..

    Reply
  18. Doug Green Author

    watch the  video …" does bruce lee  stand a chance against  modern mma fighters ? "….YES ..listen to what joe lewis says in "that video ! rip BL

    Reply
  19. Simon C Author

    The reality is no stuntman that ever met Bruce could even come close to getting a draw with him in a fight otherwise we would have heard about this stunt guy all those years ago. Bruce won all his fight to get recognise for movie part as an action hero and was only then got invited to appear on TV for interviews about kung fu. If he had lost a fight to a westerner even a draw he would walk away from its all because he knows he would not be able to back up his claim. Steve McQueen and James Coburn would not have been his students. The problem here is unlike with the Sharon Tate character, Tarantino never approach Bruce Lee's family about how the legendary actor would be portrayed and as it turns out it got the thumbs down from Buce's daughter and everyone who knew him. That is the problem. What if Tarantino never consulted Sharon Tate's sister and then portrayed her as a girlfriend "family" of Charles Manson. This would be about as ludicrous as Bruce getting beat up by Cliff Booth.

    Reply
  20. That Guy Frankie Author

    Just seen the movie expecting to see exactly what I thought… A Tarantino movie lol. Excited as I was to see the over the top bruce lee scene, knowing it had some backlash, I came into it with an open mind ready for some laughs…….. Yea I have nothing against tarantino, but man did he do bruce wrong. It honestly felt like a white dominance/superior type of thing. He made bruce look like all talk, super fake Hollywood actor, and made him a joke. Bruce always talked high respect for people. This guy wrote his own books on philosophy of martial arts, the mind and perception of life. But in this movie white guy(brad pitt) calls out a overly confident caricature of bruce lee, boiling him down to a joke and being nothing more than a light weight chinese guy that needs his mouth shut. Bruce does all the fake noises and goes straight to a kick(failed interpretation, Bruce would never just leave himself open, his whole style is usually based on countering, watching your opponents moves first). Then here's where i was like wow. White guy goes down and says try that again(why would bruce do it again knowing his opponent's waiting for it). So what happens, white guy grabs bruce and slams him dumb hard into a car like a 5 pound rag doll, damaging the car door. Brad pitts character had to fight hard just to get in that movie set. Why would he get himself fired over something stupid. Oh yea because the whole scene was just to show white superiority. Bruce is watching brad pitt get fired and didn't even apologize and explain (like he would in real life). I'm not a bruce worshipper, but dang that was wrong. Besides that the leo scenes were funny

    Reply
  21. Dragonetta Author

    NO. I don't want to hear this bullshit. The scene was racist and disrespectful. I'd hate to think that future generations would see this movie and believe Bruce Lee was stupid like that, and could've been easily beaten by anyone. NO, NO, HELL FUCKING NO. Bruce Lee wasn't just a great fighter, he was a great thinker. This scene makes him look stupid. I don't like it. I'm never gonna like it, and Quentin isn't getting a pass on this. This was dead wrong.

    Reply
  22. Jason Ash Author

    I still don’t think that fight scene in this movie is a tie.

    Round 1, Cliff intentionally let Bruce Lee hit him with the flying kick. Which barely fazes him.

    Round 2, Bruce Lee tried the same move and got easily swiped to the car like a fly. And the impact hurt Lee.

    Round 3, Cliff easily counter all Bruce
    Lee’s punches without trying and even got him in an arm lock. When the fight was stopped, Cliff barely broke a sweat while Bruce is panting.

    So yeah, in that movie, this is hardly a “tie”. The scene pretty much shows Cliff toying around with Bruce Lee. Which puts a bad taste in my mouth.

    Reply
  23. Summers Winterer Author

    Sorry Bruce Lee is still a worldwide phenomenon and will always have respect. Anyone can beat up silly soft hand brad pitt. Shannon Lee should sue QT for defamation of character as Bruce was in ALL OF THE TRAILERS. I'll never see any of QT's perverse movies again.

    Reply
  24. fuckakakaka Author

    "my white OC could beat bruce lee, stop getting mad that I saw it fit to disrespect of one of the first asian actors to gain mass appeal in america in my portrayal."
    thanks you racist pedo

    Reply
  25. jason harvote Author

    I think that bruce actor got paid to say that or maybe he said it for self promotion or try to save his character and reputation maybe. If tarantino like bruce as he said why would he say in the interview that bruce was arrogant guy and also said what supoosedly he heard bruce say that he could beat boxer muhamad ali implying he was full of shit or just stupid. If tarantino liked bruce lee or just wanted to make his fake character look tough and all theres so many things he couldve done instead of making bruce look and act like arrogant fool and just full of hot air like he couldve made beuce lee acknowledge his skill or just show the guy pumching bricks or bending metal or something like some martial artists do. Imnot going to judge on the movie as i have seen it but but from the clips amd interview seems like he did display bruce kinda badly some things are supposedly really happened or persons where real people might think that those actions or people really were like that.

    Reply
  26. Johnjoe Johnson Author

    Another white Hollywood misinterpretation of other peoples true history and events, me personally I am sick to fuck with the imposing bullshit oneway system, and for that reason I won't be looking at this movie. R.I.P Bruce Lee.

    Reply
  27. ichthus Author

    The caricature of Bruce lee shows that Tarantino had hate for asiatics characters. Surely because tarantino copied scenes from 2 asiatics movies in the past. And he had problems with them.

    Reply
  28. Tom Street Author

    People call others snowflakes but nothing was more of a snowflake move than having a mediocre white stunt double fight to a draw with Bruce Lee.

    Reply
  29. tabulldog27 Author

    Above all things, whatever issues you have with the film, don't blame the actor, as he had nothing to do with the direction the movie took with Bruce Lee. The movie was fucking awesome!

    Reply
  30. L Author

    I don't get one thing: We are not allowed to use copyrighted music even if it's like 5 seconds of a song for a selfmade clip. Yet Hollywood can take a humans name and reputation and play around with it?

    Reply
  31. RIKKI ROCKETT Author

    Also, Taratino's answer was lame. That was Bruce Lee the person being portrayed, not Bruce Lee the character. Brad Pitt's character was fictional.

    Reply
  32. Soundwave VR Author

    Nice diversion saying it was a tie. It doesn't matter if the movie said he lost the fight or not, the portrayal was a mockery. And yes, the unexpected happened from Tarantino in this moviel I thought he would've make a good movie as a whole, even the ending, but what a disappointment that was.

    Reply
  33. Bruce Lee chow young king The Blindswordsman1972 Author

    This film blows big piss take out of the real master there's only one Bruce Lee copy's suck Bruce Li look alike stupid not one fighter has broke all cultural boundary s worldwide only real Bruce Lee dominate s all actor s real fighter s even Arnold look up to Bruce Lee including van dam bolo all fans only like the real Bruce Lee Little dragon

    Reply
  34. HM Strausser Author

    The point is Mr. tarantino, you see a tie as not losing, but to Bruce a tie is not winning. Bruce Lee always won all hos fights, he never tied even once. Portraying him in a tie is NOT a good defense for you.

    Reply
  35. LIbertyorDeath419 Author

    Here's the real deal.

    Bruce Lee didn't mind losing an onscreen fight since he was willing to do so in an episode of "Here Comes the Bride" and when he had a cameo in "Marlowe."

    What he hated was being sterotyped to the point where he had limited opportunities.

    Reply
  36. postersandstuff Author

    “Sterling Silliphant stated that two of the large stunt men on the set of The Wreaking Crew were giving Bruce a hard time. They had difficulty believing that this small Chinese man (5'7," 135 lbs.) was the master they were told he was, and they resented that Bruce had been brought in to do the fight scenes. Silliphant suggested Bruce "give them a little sample" and Bruce handed one of them his air shields and told them to brace for a kick. Silliphant recalls:

    " make it really interesting and do it beside the swimming pool … So with no movement — no run, nothing, just standing there — he kicked the guy up into the air and out into the middle of the pool. Then the other guy had to prove himself, too. So he braced really low — and sshhp … again! Bruce lifted him off his feet, up into the air and out into the deep end. Well, those guys stumbled out of the pool Christians! And from that moment on, those guys loved Bruce (Lee)."

    Reply
  37. Declan Kearns Author

    If you read the background into Cliff's history:

    Cliff Booth is Rick Dalton's longtime stunt double and best friend. Booth is an indestructible World War II veteran, former Green Beret, and one of the deadliest men alive. His specialty is knives and close quarters combat…

    … No ordinary stuntman!

    Reply
  38. EscalationTV Author

    "Cliff is a FICTIONAL Character, so he could beat Bruce Lee up!" = "There is no real Person who could beat Bruce Lee up!" – Did the offended ones get it now finally? I'm also a Fan of Bruce and his Movies, but I'm not offended by this one Scene in OUATIH. Why? Because the "Once Upon A Time…" in the Title tells you already that this Movie is like a Fairytale (so, it's NOT REAL) and because I never expected any historical accuracy in a Tarantino-Movie.

    Reply
  39. donald wilson Author

    As a longtime Bruce Lee Fan, and someone who has not seen the film, I must say that it was not Bruce's fighting abilities that impressed me, it was his philosophy on fighting and living a meaningful life that has become his greatest contribution and influence on humanity. You can not diminish that with a silly "fight action" scene in a movie.

    Reply
  40. TheBengtn Author

    The most obvious clue is in the title of the film, "Once upon a time", It's a fairy-tale and not a biography, with one of the most powerful fairy-tale endings endings anyone could have hoped for (At least for me)…

    Reply
  41. Charizard Author

    Easily one of the best scenes in the movie. I don't think there was anything wrong with showing Bruce Lee get thrown into a car. It's a powerful moment and wouldn't have had the impact of being a great scene otherwise. Then add the hilarity of Janets reaction just makes it an awesome scene.

    Reply
  42. Nilanjana Dutta Author

    I think it was a mockery of the legendary Lee. He was an extremely humble, soft spoken, introvert, with no airs about him, and doing what he did best, insurmountably.

    This impersonation, was ridiculous, and Bruce Lee must be turning in his grave. Besides, Lee didn't take on anyone to prove himself, and didn't get thrown around like that, for sure. And didn't make those exaggerated sounds either.

    Reply
  43. Nell Franks Author

    I think Quentin did a tremendous job at humanizing the human that we revere as a God. I think Bruce Lee would reject the blind devotion most of you have for him. It’s kind of funny caus that was pretty much his philosophy not sticking to the status quo and being flexible in every aspect of word. Dummies

    Reply
  44. QW Lee Author

    QT made Bruce Lee out to be an arrogant obnoxious douchebag. He was nothing of the sort.
    First of all, he would never have picked a fight with Brad Pitt and got him fired. Secondly, he wouldn’t have done all that trash talking. And finally, he wouldn’t have let himself get slammed into a car by a two bit, out of shape, over the hill stuntman who can’t even afford some decent dog food for his pit bull.

    Reply
  45. Dani Dorito Author

    I think the entirety of Bruce Lee's career and legacy is going to survive a five minute scene from a Tarantino movie it's not schindlers list it's a goofy slapstick movie.

    Reply
  46. MrX Author

    If Bruce Lee was alive he would laugh about it and wouldn’t care. Funny how all of us that are Bruce Lee s fans, didn’t learn to use the confidence that he used to shine with. This scene in the movie is simply a joke and Bruce would have laughed about it.

    Reply
  47. Terbie36 Author

    Whatever Tarantino says, it won't change the fact that he was so disrespectful to the memory of Bruce Lee. Some things must remain sacred and musn't be mocked with.

    Reply
  48. Hugh Tahoob Author

    The fight scene was exactly like kill bill didn't like it
    Tarantino now just uses the same things that made him famous from before over and over Kill Bill 2 was his last good film

    Reply
  49. Mushin No Shin Author

    People say it’s not the fight itself but of course that’s part of it. Within the context of the film, this is not a movie scene. It is a sparring session. Jun Fan would have used JKD and it was not portrayed correctly

    Reply
  50. abdouldmml Author

    I'm amazed at how people take this seriously it's a movie did people miss the ending it's not based on a 100% realism the whole fight probably would never of took place in real life but in the movie its necessary to show how tough cliff is while it's also a hat tip to the story of Bruce refusing to lose a fight on film to Robin hense the other batman parts in the film at the beginning and then the music in the credits….given the detail Tarantino went into with kill bill he obviously loves the genre which automatically will make him a bruce lee fan….some of you people just really need to relax

    Reply
  51. Suvam Debata Author

    If he's taking a Dracula as an opponent then .. the dragon is in the other side .. speaking about fictional characters.. now say who will win..
    Bruce Lee is finest martial artist ever lived … then now forever.

    Reply

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