Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood made Debra Tate cry. Tate was taken by Margot Robbie’s portrayal of her sister, Sharon Tate, and wished Tarantino would’ve made a whole movie dedicated to her. For Debra, the road to the movie didn’t start on a positive note. She originally slammed Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Tarantino for making the movie, which involved her sister, though she hadn’t read the story by that point.
Debra Tate has since come around to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and she likes what she read and saw on the big screen. Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate portrayal really effected Debra in a way she apparently wasn’t expecting, which speaks to what Quentin Tarantino and Robbie pulled off. Debra Tate had this to say about seeing Robbie as her sister on the big screen for the first time.
“She made me cry because she sounded just like Sharon. The tone in her voice was completely Sharon, and it just touched me so much that big tears (started falling). The front of my shirt was wet. I actually got to see my sister again… nearly 50 years later.”
Margot Robbie and Quentin Tarantino did such a good job that Debra Tate wishes they’d team up to do the Sharon Tate story. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been criticized for not having enough of Robbie’s Tate in the movie, which Tarantino has had to defend. From the time the movie was officially announced, the director insisted it was not going to be solely about Charles Manson and the murders. Debra Tate explains.
“When I read the whole script, I knew that the real meat of the story was going to be Leo and Brad Pitt’s characters. I mean, I really wish that Quentin Tarantino would do the Sharon Tate story, and I would love to see Margot play (that)… But that was not the movie that Quentin had written, and I knew it and I understood it. And it was his vision. I’m not going to tell anybody that has done such a wonderful job, and a respectful job at honoring a particular situation, that they have to do my version of a story. Although I really wish he would’ve.”
As for getting as close to Sharon Tate as he could, Quentin Tarantino did a lot of research before starting Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The director has an incredible eye for detail and will often go down rabbit holes while preparing for a movie. Tarantino knows the full backstories of all of his characters, regardless if their fictional or not, which helps the actors take on their parts. Tarantino had this to say about researching Sharon Tate.
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“I did a lot of research on Sharon and became very enamored of her. She seemed like an incredibly sweet person. When you talk about all the different friends that she had, even acquaintances that she had, they all tell the same story about her, about this unaffected beauty, just this reservoir of goodness and kindness. Now, that almost sounds too good to be true, but for whatever reason, as I’m reading all this stuff, I’m really buying it. Every account about her that I found backs up that version of her. Unfortunately, she’s kind of been defined by her murder. I thought the best way to get her across was not sticking her in a bunch of scenes with Roman (Polanski, Tate’s husband) or with other people where she’s (furthering) a plot, but just hanging out with her, letting her drive around Los Angeles, do her errands, and just see where the day takes her. I wanted to show people a glimpse of Sharon before the murder, so they think of her as more than just a victim.”
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino’s biggest box office opening of his long career. As of this writing, it’s estimated to be at $41 million and will more than likely be higher by weekend’s end. As for making a movie dedicated to Sharon Tate, the director probably won’t be getting into that territory, though he does like to surprise people. We’ll just have to wait and see. The interview with Debra Tate was originally conducted by Variety.