Margot Robbie plays the actress in Tarantino's new film, 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

By Clark Collis
July 24, 2019 at 10:13 AM EDT
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At the time of her death in 1969, at the age of 26, Sharon Tate was a rising star in Hollywood. The actress’ credits included 1967’s Valley of the Dolls — for which she received a Golden Globe nomination — and The Fearless Vampire Killers, directed by her future husband, Roman Polanski. Writer-director Quentin Tarantino hopes that Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Tate in his new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (out Friday) will help Tate posthumously escape the shadow of Charles Manson, whose followers killed the pregnant actress.

Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images; Andrew Cooper/Columbia

“I did a lot of research on Sharon and became very enamored of her,” Tarantino tells EW. “She seemed like an incredibly sweet person. When you talk about all the different friends that she had, even acquaintances that she had, they all tell the same story about her, about this unaffected beauty, just this reservoir of goodness and kindness. Now, that almost sounds to good to be true, but for whatever reason, as I’m reading all this stuff, I’m really buying it. Every account about her that I found backs up that version of her. Unfortunately, she’s kind of been defined by her murder. I thought the best way to get her across was not sticking her in a bunch of scenes with Roman or with other people where she’s [furthering] a plot, but just hanging out with her, letting her drive around Los Angeles, do her errands, and just see where the day takes her. I wanted to show people a glimpse of Sharon before the murder, so they think of her as more than just a victim.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood costars Leonardo DiCaprio as a fading, fictional, actor named Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as his stunt double, Cliff Booth. The film’s cast also includes Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, and Dakota Fanning, among others.

Watch the trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood above.

To read more from the August issue of Entertainment Weekly, pick up a copy when it hit stands July 25-26. You can buy all five covers, or purchase your individual favorites featuring Arrow, the FlashSupergirlWhite Canary, and Batwoman. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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