Quentin Tarantino had an awkward exchange at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week when a female journalist asked why he gave so few lines to Margot Robbie in his highly anticipated film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
“Quentin you put Margot Robbie, a very talented actress, actor, in your film,” the New York Times journalist asked Tarantino during a press conference on Wednesday morning after the film premiered.
Robbie plays the actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson clan in 1969, when the film takes place. It centers on TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who are fighting to stay relevant in the industry.
“She was with Leonardo in ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘I, Tonya.’ This is a person with great acting talent and yet you haven’t given her many lines in the movie,” she continued. “I guess that was a deliberate choice on your part. And I just wanted to know why that was that we don’t hear her speak that much.”
The director responded curtly: “Well, I just reject your hypothesis.”
Quentin Tarantino snapped at a female reporter from The New York Times who asked why Margot Robbie wasn’t given more to say or do in his latest film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" https://t.co/xACQXjyBu8 pic.twitter.com/5GraEtaSyw— Variety (@Variety) May 22, 2019
The question was thrown over to Robbie who handled it as well as she could.
“The tragedy ultimately was the loss of innocence, and to really show those wonderful sides of her I think could be adequately done without speaking,” Robbie said.
“I did feel like I got a lot of time to explore the character even without dialogue, specifically. Which is an interesting thing because I often do look to the interaction with other characters to inform me on the character,” she added. “Rarely do I get an opportunity to spend so much time on my own as a character. ... That was actually an interesting thing to do for me as an actor, I appreciated the exercise.”
People on Twitter were torn about the exchange, with some calling out Tarantino for his “snappy response” while others pointed to his long history of centering female characters in his films like “Kill Bill” and “Jackie Brown.”
"Snapped"? He declined to answer a question he didn't agree with. Not saying Tarantino is entirely unproblematic but to come at him with the suggestion of intentionally giving limited screen time to women is quite unfair when you consider his filmography. Of course he scoffed. https://t.co/XwUhSXp7Mv— John Squires (@FreddyInSpace) May 22, 2019
Tarantino is asked why a big star like Margot Robbie has so few lines in the movie: “I just reject your hypotheses,” he replies curtly. To be fair... I don’t know if she has a single actual line in the first hour of the film?— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) May 22, 2019
It really isn't hard for Tarantino to say "I understand your question and your concern and I'm glad you brought it up because it's important. Here is why I made that decision:" and say the things Margot said.— dilara elbir (@elbirdilara) May 22, 2019
What a ridiculous question.— FourTwoThreeOne (@FourTwoThreeOne) May 22, 2019
Tarantino has made Jackie Brown, Kill Bill 1 & 2. Female dominated movies. It’s a dangerous road to go down.
Sheer arrogance across the board, in body language and words, except for Margot Robbie.— Michael Fox (@foxonfilm) May 22, 2019
Tarantino skated away without a scratch from the Weinstein scandal, and thinks he has total impunity. A very smart man who doesn't possess an ounce of self-reflection - a bad combination.
His words alone are...not great, but the shortness of his tone and his body language are a performance he's choosing to put on -- after gaslighting the reporter who asks him why he, the writer, didn't write any dialogue for the only woman.— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) May 22, 2019
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