Early on, Debra Tate — the sister of slain actress Sharon Tate — denounced filmmaker Quentin Tarantino's ninth movie, "Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood," as she was afraid it would exploit her beloved sibling's memory.
But last summer, she had a change of heart after meeting with the writer-director behind the sure-to-be blockbuster, which is set against the backdrop of Sharon's 1968 murder by the Manson Family.
And now that a trailer for the period project — which stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio — has been released on the heels of the film's premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on May 21, Debra is praising actress Margot Robbie's portrayal of Sharon, at least in the footage she's seen so far, TMZ reports.
Margot as Sharon is seen throughout the "OUATIH" trailer (the film will hit theaters on July 26). Debra was initially worried about one scene in particular that she knew was coming but now feels relief after watching Margot deliver. In the new trailer at the 1:30 mark, Sharon tells a movie theater worker that she's in the film that's currently playing inside the cinema. Debra's worry, TMZ reports, was that Sharon would come off as conceited in the scene.
"Depending on how Margot played it, it could've appeared egotistical. But, no, she did a beautiful job," Debra told TMZ. "Sharon did not have an egotistical bone in her body. Margot captures Sharon's sweetness very nicely."
Last August, Debra was full of praise for the Oscar-nominated actress. "Margot is an extremely dedicated craftsman. She's a very dedicated actress and yes, of course, she had lots of questions about Sharon and her take on Sharon and I'm very confident she's going to give us everything we need," Debra told TMZ at the time.
"I really like Margot," Debra added. "She got everything. She's very intuitive and had done a lot of studying on her own and noticed very small nuances that I think most people wouldn't get. She already had that prior to talking to me and then yes, we laughed, we cried, we went through the whole [gamut]. I think that this is going to be great."
Debra has yet to see the full movie, but she likes what she's seen so far and also feels reassured after speaking to Quentin about it at length.
Debra had feared that the project would end up glorifying notorious criminal Charles Manson, whose followers stabbed five people to death — including 26-year-old Sharon — in the actress's home when she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant. After hearing about Debra's reluctance to support the project, Quentin reached out to her in hopes of discussing her concerns, Debra previously told TMZ.
When they met, he graciously heard her out. Quentin shared the at-the-time top-secret plot with her. Now of course, the Cannes audience has seen it and loved it, even giving the filmmaker a six-minute standing ovation, Variety reported. "This movie is not what people would expect it to be when you combine the Tarantino and Manson names," Debra told TMZ last year.
Debra also felt better after Sony moved up the film's release date by two weeks so that it would no longer come out on Aug. 9 — the 50th anniversary of the murders at Sharon and husband Roman Polanski's home on Cielo Drive in the Hollywood Hills. The original release date, Debra previously told TMZ, felt "tacky and exploitative."
In addition to Brad, Leo and Margot, the "OUATIH" cast includes Kurt Russell, Al Pacino, Luke Perry — in his final big-screen role — plus Lena Dunham, Timothy Olyphant, Margaret Qualley and many more.