One of the most memorable moments in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” arrives when Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth climbs to the roof of Rick Dalton’s house to fix an antenna. It’s a warm summer afternoon in Los Angeles, so Cliff strips down and takes off his shirt. Pitt’s physique and the way the sun is beating down on his body and glaring off his abs overwhelmed more than a handful of moviegoers. Tarantino appeared on the latest episode of Amy Schumer’s “3 Girls, 1 Keith” podcast and recalled the moment he tried and failed to direct Pitt’s acting when it came to how Cliff should take off his shirt.
“It was funny because actually in public Brad is kind of shy about things like that,” Tarantino said. “At the same time, he knows exactly what time it is. I go, ‘So, I’m thinking maybe you unbutton the Hawaiian shirt, and you peel that off, and then peel off the Champion T-shirt.’ He was like, ‘Really? You want me to go through all that button bullshit? I’ll just take it off in one bit. Go!’”
Tarantino continued, “I’m like, okay, this guy knows exactly what time it is. Shut the fuck up and let the master do his job! Even when you see him in the work shed and the way he puts on the leather gloves and puts the wire in his mouth all butch and macho. He just knows what time it is.”