The big movies headed to theaters this summer won’t all be blockbusters featuring cartoon characters and action heroes. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s new film, will see wide release at the end of July.
Looking at the cast, you can understand why the film’s marketing team has already gotten started. Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio play the male leads. Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden, and Lena Dunham also feature in prominent roles.
Playing the female lead is Margot Robbie, the Suicide Squad and I, Tonya star whose career has exploded over the past several years. While the film is a work of fiction, Robbie will play a famous Hollywood figure of the 1960s (the time in which Tarantino sets the film).
Here’s the true story of Robbie’s character in the film.
Robbie plays Sharon Tate, the actress murdered by the Manson Family.
In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Robbie plays Sharon Tate. To say Tate was a famous Hollywood figure would be a major understatement. After she broke into cinema in the ’60s and married director Roman Polanski, Tate died at the hands of Charles Manson’s “Family” cult.
Her murder shook Hollywood unlike few events of the era. At the time of her death by stabbing, Tate was over eight months pregnant and at the height of her young career.
Tate’s roles in Fearless Vampire Killers and Valley of the Dolls (1967) remain among her most famous works. She was just 26 years old when the Manson gang broke into her Hollywood home and murdered her in the summer of 1969.
Tate’s murder was among the first the Manson Family would commit at the behest of its cult leader. The following night, the gang continued its killing spree.
Given these events, you can understand why Los Angeles went into a collective panic following her death. Polanski, who was out of the country at the time, returned to America to bury his wife and unborn child.
Later that year, law enforcement tracked down Manson and his cult members, who received the death penalty following their convictions. In brief, this story has not lost any of its power 50 years later.
Tate is one of several real-life characters in the film.
Tarantino’s movie mixes in several real-life characters with fictional ones. DiCaprio plays a made-up actor who struggles to find work in movies during the period. Pitt plays his stunt-double and friend.
In addition to Robbie playing Tate, audiences will see Rafał Zawierucha playing Roman Polanski, Damon Herriman playing Manson, and Dunham playing one of the members of the Manson Family. Emile Hirsch plays Jay Sebring, Tate’s former boyfriend who was the inspiration for Shampoo.
Given the star-studded cast and director, you can see why the marketing machine for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has revved up so early. Expect to hear much more about it when it makes its expected appearance at Cannes in May.
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