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Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a premium hangout movie that divides some audiences. However, it boasts a terrific cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood marks one of Tarantino’s final movies before he retires. Robbie recalled her “surreal” script reading experience with Tarantino.

What is ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ about?

'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Quentin Tarantino and Margot Robbie dressed up for the photocall at Cannes
L-R: Quentin Tarantino and Margot Robbie | Toni Anne Barson/FilmMagic

Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set during Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles. Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) is a fading television actor who struggles to stay relevant. His stunt double and best friend Cliff Booth (Pitt) try to work around the rapidly changing entertainment industry.

Meanwhile, Sharon Tate (Robbie) and her husband, Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha), live next door to Rick. Little do they realize, there’s a looming threat of the Manson family. Sharon is in their sights, but not everything quite goes as planned in the historical canon.

Margot Robbie recalls ‘surreal’ script reading at Quentin Tarantino’s house

Empire interviewed Robbie about her time preparing for Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The legendary filmmaker wasn’t taking any chances of any script leaks. He would only allow her to read the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood script in his kitchen.

“There was no, ‘I’m gonna email you a script’ sort of thing,” Robbie said. “It was like, ‘You can sit and read it and then I’m taking it back.’”

Robbie continued: “It was seriously one of the most surreal moments in my life, sitting at his kitchen bench. There was one copy of the script and it had his writing on it. I’m such a slow reader, so I was there for like four hours ’cause it was also a really, really long.”

“He’s like. ‘I’m just watching Dexter (in the other room),'” Robbie said. “I would’ve thought he’d be watching some obscure Italian Western or something, but he was like, ‘No, I’m really into Dexter right now.’ So he kept hopping back into the kitchen being like, ‘Are you done yet?’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m halfway!’”

However, Tarantino didn’t leave Robbie without any refreshments to enjoy while reading Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

“He was like, ‘Do you need anything?’” Robbie said. “I’d been there for so long by that point reading. I was like, ‘Can I have a beer please?’ And he’s like. ‘I’ve got a VB,’ which is a very Australian beer that I’ve never seen outside of Australia ever in my life.”

Robbie continued: “Interactions like that with Quentin seem to happen all the time where he just says something so flippantly and you’re like, wait, what? People credit him often for his film knowledge, (but) they’re totally failing to recognize his amazing beer knowledge.”

Margot Robbie gets limited screen time in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’


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Some critics of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood point to the small amount of time that Robbie gets. Tarantino’s hangout movie is 2 hours and 41 minutes, although Robbie has very little screen time and even less dialogue. She’s seen dancing and exploring LA throughout the movie. However, her safety is constantly looming over her.

Robbie is a two-time Oscar-nominated actor, but not for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. She earned a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for I, Tonya. Next, she was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Bombshell.