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It was important for Quentin Tarantino to tell the story of Sharon Tate, and that need went all the way back to his childhood.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker was a recent guest on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show where he talked about why the slain actress needed to have her story told in his 2019 movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and his recent novelization of the Sony film.
Tarantino told Cage that he was aware of who Tate was before her name made headlines around the globe after she and several others were murdered by members of the Manson Family in 1969. He first saw Tate when he was 5 years old in the 1968 film The Wrecking Crew, which is featured in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In Tarantino’s film, Tate is played by Margot Robbie.
“I had an immediate crush on her because one: she was really pretty. And she plays a clumsy klutz in the movie, so she was really funny,” Tarantino said. “She brought the house down. I really remembered that screening. All the gags she did really floored the audience.”
The Pulp Fiction director said it would not be until 1970 when he would hear her name again on the news after members of the Manson family suspected of murdering Tate and the others were apprehended.
Tarantino explained that he wanted to tell her story because she sounded like such a wonderful person from all that he read about her over the years. But, for the most part, she was best known to many as a murder victim. The actress deserved better, he said.
“I think it’s horrible that she’s been defined by her murder,” Tarantino said. “And one of the things that I can say about the film that I am absolutely proud of, because of the movie, I don’t think that’s necessarily the case anymore. I don’t think she is defined by her victim status.
“I think people were very intrigued by Margot Robbie’s performance in it,” he continued. “I think they looked [the actual Tate] up. Getting a sense of her from the movie, if you watch those [Manson history] specials, they’re really heartbreaking because she means something to you now, as opposed to just a statistic.”
Watch the interview segment below.
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