The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director, 56, shut down a female reporter from The New York Times during a press conference on Wednesday after she asked him why Robbie, 28, had little to do or say in the film.
“I reject your hypothesis,” Tarantino said.
“There was a little bit more of her; everybody lost sequences,” Tarantino told the outlet. “It’s not her story, it’s Rick’s story. It’s not even Cliff’s.”
He added, “And [Tate] is an angelic presence throughout the movie, she’s an angelic ghost on earth, to some degree, she’s not in the movie, she’s in our hearts.”
The film is focused on TV star Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) as they find themselves struggling with a new wave of Hollywood cinema — just as Charles Manson and his Family are running around Los Angeles in 1969.
Robbie attempted to answer the reporter’s question on Wednesday, saying, “I think the moments I was on screen gave a moment to honor Sharon.”
“I think the tragedy was the loss of innocence,” she continued. “To show the wonderful sides of her could be done without speaking. I did feel like I got a lot of time to explore the character without dialogue, which is an interesting thing.”
She added, “Rarely do I get an opportunity to spend so much time on my own as a character.”
The film premiered at Cannes on Tuesday and received rave first reactions from critics who called it “brilliant” and “shocking.”