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Tarantino Bites Back at Reporter as Once Upon a Time Reignites Gender Debate

Quentin Tarantino’s attitude changed during the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Cannes press conference. The director was all smiles and excited to talk about his latest project, only to slightly lose his temper when asked about Margot Robbie’s limited dialogue in the movie. Robbie portrays the late Sharon Tate in the movie, which also stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Tarantino has found himself in controversy over the years for his treatment of women in his projects.

During the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Cannes press conference, Reporter Farah Nayeri asked Quentin Tarantino why Margot Robbie wasn’t given more to say and do in the movie. The director is visibly getting angrier as Nayeri detailed her question. Robbie is promoted third on the bill, with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio ahead of her. When the question is finished, Quentin Tarantino, who has been fiddling with a cup of water the whole time simply says, “I reject your hypothesis.”

Margot Robbie quickly picked up from Quentin Tarantino’s brief snap. Robbie could tell, as everybody else in the room could, that the director was not happy about the question. She acted as if nothing had happened and picked up from where the reporter left off. She had this to say.

“I think the moments I was on screen gave a moment to honor Sharon. I think the tragedy was the loss of innocence. To show the wonderful sides of her could be done without speaking. I did feel like I got a lot of time to explore the character without dialogue, which is an interesting thing. Rarely do I get an opportunity to spend so much time on my own as a character.”

After Quentin Tarantino’s response, it immediately started to go viral, which resulted in accusations of misogyny against the director. This isn’t the first time this type of thing has happened to Tarantino. He came under fire for the treatment of Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kerry Washington’s characters in The Hateful Eight and Jango Unchained, respectively. Along with those accusations came with fans standing up for the director and calling the accusations baseless. Tarantino has defended these actions and has plenty of movies where women have the dynamic leading roles, though this still raises questions of respect in current times.

Related: Django Unchained Director’s Cut Is Done, Will Arrive After Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood received excellent reviews after its big Cannes premiere. Quentin Tarantino worked extra hard to have the final cut of the movie ready for the annual festival, which just happens to coincide with the 25th anniversary of his breakout hit Pulp Fiction. It will be interesting to see if the director’s behavior at the press conference will carry over to when the movie is widely released this summer. For the time being, there is some pretty big hype surrounding the movie. Variety was the first to reveal the latest Quentin Tarantino news.

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