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Margot Robbie explains her role as Sharon Tate in' Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

"She's the light"… "She's the heartbeat of the movie". Margot Robbie explains her role to NYTimes critic Farah Nayeri as Sharon Tate in ‘Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood' by Quentin TARANTINO at the press conference at Cannes. "That's how Quentin explained it to me". And that must be why she hardly has any speaking lines in the film. Robbie defended the film by explaining her role was not so much words as emotions. That she didn't have to say a lot --not someone who is a ray of light. That goes for many films about women who are silent on screen.

56-year-old Quentin Tarantino, newly married to the "right girl", brings to the Croissette his ninth film that seems to, as has been suggested round up all of the themes of his cinematic repertoire. He is notably indignant at the question by Farah Nayeri about the scarcity of lines for Robbie.  "I reject your hypotheses" – though there was just one point made, but they have been made since "Pulp Fiction" - the lack of depth of female characters such as “Honey Bunny” (Amanda Plummer) and “Fabienne” (Maria de Medeiros). Tarantino also disagreed with the "hypotheses" at the Stockholm Film Festival press conference in 1994 where he won the Bronze Horse.

Tarantino sticks to his guns and won’t answer anything he doesn’t want to, or inflicts dead silence on the querent. He refuses to give in to questions about the mythology of the Manson murders but at the same time admitted he is nostalgic for the Los Angeles of his youth and likes to believe that at age 6 he stood on a hill overlooking Spahn Ranch where Charles Manson hung out and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (Dakota Fanning) of the Manson family. It’s part of the background to Tarantino's childhood. But no comments about why Sharon Tate is in his film --other than to symbolize through a nearly mute actress the loss of innocence that characterized the year 1969.

You cannot imagine from the title that this is a film about the late Sharon Tate as was assumed when the story first broke about pre-production - because it isn't - she's just an icon in this film. This is a "love story" between a a second rate actor  - Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski's next door neighbor Rick Dalton (Leonardo Di Caprio ) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt), but ultimately everything Tarantino makes is about himself. Growing up in Hollywood – the title makes sense. He did not want to make a film about the Manson tragedy but only as an enigma at the end of Hollywood's Golden Age - with scenes of Tate as a go-go dancer frozen in time.

Great someone dared to speak out about the scant lines Robbie has in this film -- during the entire press conference all questions went to Tarantino, Pitt and Di Caprio except this one--and Robbie finally got to  speak.

 

Moira Sullivan

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