In a recent interview, Donnie Yen criticized Quentin Tarantino for his depiction of the legendary martial artist Bruce Lee in his 2019 movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
“Everybody is entitled to their opinions,” he said. “Quentin Tarantino is a very renowned filmmaker, and he’s entitled to his status. And I’m entitled to state my own view. Obviously, he was making fun of Bruce. It was cartoonish.”
The scene in question depicts the legendary martial artist, played by Mike Moh, being easily thrown into the side of a car by stuntman Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt.
While on a promotion tour in Moscow, the 60-year-old director defended the scene and his portrayal of the superstar, saying, “Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy.”
Besides Yen, many people rallied to call out Tarantino for the depiction, including the superstar’s daughter, Shannon Lee, who said the famous director should “shut up” or apologize.
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was Lee’s longtime friend, also spoke out against Tarantino in August 2019, despite admitting that he was “one of his favorite filmmakers.”
Matthew Polly, author of “Bruce Lee: A Life,” told USA Today that while the late Hollywood megastar was often a “cocky, strutting braggart,” Tarantino “took those traits and exaggerated them to the point of caricature.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Yen hinted that he is open to doing a “John Wick” spin-off for his character, the blind assassin Caine, teasing, “There’s always ‘talks’ in Hollywood.”