A few months after publicly sharing her disapproval of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" — a film set against the backdrop of Sharon Tate's 1969 murder by the Manson Family — the late actress's sister, Debra, had a change of heart after meeting with the director.
Now, Debra is not only on board with the film but is also sharing high praise for Margot Robbie — the actress who's playing her beloved sister Sharon, who was stabbed to death by followers of Charles Manson while she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant.
"Margot is an extremely dedicated craftsman. She's 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, 65, tells TMZ.
"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."
Though Debra didn't weigh in on Margot's resemblance to her late sister, it's clear that the Oscar nominee certainly looks the part: Margot posted a first-look photo of herself in costume as Sharon on Instagram a week ago,
TMZ reports that Debra has seen the cast at work and is impressed and no longer dismayed about the project, which she feared would end up glorifying notorious criminal Manson. She'd previously criticized Margot's co-stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio for "throwing all their social responsibility to the wind" when they signed on to the film, she told TMZ in March. "To [celebrities], it's a paycheck and these people just don't care. They are terribly hurtful to the actual family and all the living victims. They don't give a s—."
Now, however, she believes "these actors are real people," she told TMZ in August. "I don't think that Quentin could have done a better job. I think that people have to have a heart in order to do these roles. As far as I'm concerned, this project couldn't be more blessed."
Back in June, Leo posted a first-look Instagram photo of himself and Brad in character. Leo plays former western TV series star Rick Dalton and Brad plays his longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth. The film has been shooting in and around Los Angeles this summer.
In July, Quentin reached out to Debra in hopes of discussing her early concerns. She told TMZ that Quentin shared the film's top-secret plot with her, which made her "feel much better," TMZ reported, and convinced her that the Oscar-winning screenwriter has "honorable intentions."
"This movie is not what people would expect it to be when you combine the Tarantino and Manson names," Debra told TMZ last month.
She also feels much more at peace now that Sony recently moved up the film's release date by two weeks — it's now set to open on July 26, 2019 — which means it will no longer hit theaters on Aug. 9, the 50th anniversary of the murders at Sharon and filmmaker husband Roman Polanski's home on Cielo Drive in the Hollywood Hills. The original release date, Debra had said, felt "tacky and exploitative."