Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming directorial effort Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is his “love letter” to Los Angeles as he plays and tinkers with the city's happenings in 1969, with a focus on the film industry’s state and the infamous Manson Family murders. Roman Polanski is at the center of both these subjects. At the time, the director had just found success with his film Rosemary’s Baby when his pregnant wife Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by Manson’s cult following.
Roman Polanski will be portrayed in the film by Polish actor Rafal Zawierucha alongside Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate. The couple look to live next to fictional film star Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Fact may be being mixed with fiction in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner has shown her discomfort with his presence in Tarantino’s flick. Check out her words, translated from French by THR:
I am just saying that it doesn’t bother them [in Hollywood] to make a film about Roman and his tragic story, and make money with it… while at the same time they have made him a pariah. And all without consulting him of course. How can you take advantage of someone's tragic life while trampling on them?
The French actress and model is angered by the inclusion of her husband’s personal life in the highly-anticipated Quentin Tarantino movie which recently premiered at Cannes to high applause.
Emmanuelle Seigner also touches on Hollywood’s making him into a “pariah”, likely a reference to the Academy kicking him out of the Academy last year for his 1977 rape charges. Roman Polanski fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty for drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl, and hasn’t since returned to the states.
Seigner added that she is not attacking the film itself, but pointing out the “bothersome” move by Quentin Tarantino not to approach Polanski about his depiction in the film. Tarantino recently commented (prior to her words) that he is a huge fan of the director’s work, particularly Rosemary’s Baby.
Roman Polanski was briefly shown in the latest trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The movie will also include portrayals of Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen, film producer Marvin Schwartz (played by Al Pacino) and so forth. Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate looks to be central to the story of the film, making Roman’s portrayal also important to the events Tarantino wanted to explore.
Emmanuelle Seigner’s words do spark a continuous debate between Hollywood and the people they’ve depicted over the years. Should the real figures being used as a source of entertainment be consulted or compensated in order for their appearance on screen to be allowed?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood comes to theaters on July 26.