Quentin Tarantino got prickly yesterday after he was called on giving Margot Robbie not a great deal to do in his new movie.
Robbie plays Sharon Tate in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, the wife of Roman Polanski who was murdered in their home by members of the Manson Family.
But during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, where the movie made its premiere on Tuesday, one reporter questioned the Pulp Fiction director why Robbie has so few lines.
“Quentin, you have put Margot Robbie, a very talented actress, actor, in your film,” she said.
“She was with Leonardo in Wolf of Wall Street, I, Tonya, 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 and I just wanted to know why that was that we don’t hear her actually speaking very much.”
Tarantino, seeming visibly irritated by the question, shot back: “Well I just reject your hypothesis.”
He said nothing more, leaving Robbie to break the palpable awkwardness.
“I always look into the character, and what the character is supposed to serve. I think the moments that I got on screen gave an opportunity to honour Sharon,” she said.
“I think think the tragedy was ultimately the loss of innocence and to really show those wonderful sides of her, I think could be adequately done without speaking.”
The movie premiered to rave reviews, and six-minute standing ovation from the audience at Cannes, where Tarantino made his name with Pulp Fiction 25 years earlier.
It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a washed-up TV western actor, and Brad Pitt as his confidant and stunt double, as the navigate the underbelly of late 60s Hollywood.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood arrives in the UK on August 14.