Donnie Yen Says Quentin Tarantino Made Fun of Bruce Lee, “It Was Cartoonish”

Donnie Yen Quentin Tarantino Bruce Lee Cartoonish

Donnie Yen, star of “John Wick: Chapter 4,” recently shared his thoughts on the portrayal of Bruce Lee in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” 

Yen stated that Tarantino’s depiction of Lee, played by Mike Moh, was “cartoonish” and made an obvious statement about the martial arts master. “Everybody is entitled to their opinions, 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.”

However, Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, had a different opinion, calling the portrayal “irresponsible” and claiming that the film made her father look like “an a*shole.” 

Shannon Lee criticized Tarantino for citing her mother’s book as a defense for the depiction of Bruce Lee in the film. She felt that there were many other ways that the Cliff Booth character could have been made to look fabulous without portraying her father in a negative light. She also felt that the portrayal was similar to how white Hollywood treated her father when he was alive.

Tarantino defended his depiction of Lee, saying that it was known that stuntmen on “The Green Hornet,” a television show that Lee worked on, actually “hated” him on set. 

Tarantino added that Bruce Lee had no respect for American stunt performers and would often hit them with his feet and fists, which was unprofessional. Tarantino concluded that he understood why Shannon Lee had a problem with the portrayal, but he did not care about anyone else’s opinion.

Opinions on Tarantino’s portrayal of Bruce Lee in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” are mixed. While some believe it was a cartoonish and negative portrayal of a martial arts icon, others feel that it accurately represented how some stuntmen viewed Lee on set. Regardless of one’s opinion, it is clear that the film’s depiction of Bruce Lee has been a controversial topic since its release.