Quentin Tarantino has explained why Margot Robbie's Sharon Tate was given fewer lines than some fans expected in the upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
"There was a little bit more of her; everybody lost sequences," Tarantino told IndieWire, before noting that the story did not belong to Sharon, but belonged to Rick, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
"[Tate] is an angelic presence throughout the movie, she’s an angelic ghost on earth, to some degree, she’s not in the movie, she’s in our hearts."
He also explained that Tate's sister, Debra Tate, who initially spoke out against the film, was included in the filmmaking process.
"I gave her a script to read early on," Tarantino told IndieWire. "I went to visit her in Santa Barbara, spent a weekend with her. We talked about it. She came on set when we were doing the Bruin [Theatre in Westwood] sequence."
This post was originally published on May 22, 2019.
Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was met with a standing ovation during its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, despite the controversy that came before it surrounding the character of Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie. Some people felt that tackling the murder of Tate by Charles Manson’s followers was “exploitive,” especially once Tate’s sister came out against the project. However, a new interview suggest there’s another controversy surrounding Robbie’s character: How many lines Tate actually has in the new film.
At a press conference for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a journalist stood up to ask Tarantino a question about the lack of lines that Robbie reportedly has in the new film.
“Quentin, you have put Margot Robbie, a very talented actress, in your film,” says the journalist. “This is a person with a great deal of acting talent, and yet you haven’t really given her many lines in the movie. I guess that was a deliberate choice on your part. I just wanted to know why that was, that we don’t hear her actually speaking very much.”
Tarantino’s response: "Well I reject your hypothesis."
It was then up to Robbie to explain the choice. Unlike Tarantino, she seems to suggest that her lines may have been limited, but ultimately that decision served the story they wanted to tell.
“I think the moments that I got on screen gave me an opportunity to honor Sharon," she said. "I think the tragedy was, like Brad [Pitt] mentioned, ultimately, the loss of innocence. I think that can be done without speaking."
"I think I did have enough time to explore the character, even without dialogue specifically, which is an interesting thing as I often do look to the interaction with other characters to inform me on the character. Rarely do I get to spend so much time on my own as a character, in a day to day existence. That was an interesting thing for me to do as an actor, I really appreciated the exercise. I felt that I could deliver what I wanted to onscreen."
Well, at least Robbie had a chance to speak during the panel.