"I reject your hypothesis."

By PEOPLE.COM/Alexia Fernandez
May 26, 2019 @ 2:30 pm
Tony Barson/Getty Images

Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood caused quite a stir at the Cannes Film Festival — both on and off the screen.

The director, 56, had a curt response for a female reporter from The New York Times on Wednesday, who asked why Margot Robbie wasn’t given more to say or do in his latest film, according to Variety.

“I reject your hypothesis,” Tarantino said during a press conference for the movie.

Robbie, 28, plays Sharon Tate in Tarantino’s love letter to Hollywood. As Tate, Robbie flits through the screen bringing to life one of cinema’s most beloved stars before her untimely death on August 9, 1969, at the hands of Charles Manson’s Family.

RELATED: Margot Robbie Paid Homage to Sharon Tate by Copying Her 1968 Cannes Hairstyle

Robbie attempted to answer the question, 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.”

VIDEO: Margot Robbie on Her Research to Play Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

She added, “Rarely do I get an opportunity to spend so much time on my own as a character.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiered at Cannes on Tuesday and received rave first reactions from critics who called it “brilliant” and “shocking.”

This is Tarantino’s ninth film, his first to premiere in Cannes since 2009’s Inglourious Basterds. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt also star as Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, respectively, two aged Hollywood actors who try to make their way around a changing industry — while Charles Manson is on the loose.

RELATED: Margot Robbie Has a New Beauty Gig With Chanel 

The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw said the “brilliant” film is “shocking, gripping, dazzlingly shot.”

Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson singled out the performances, saying, “DiCaprio and Pitt are funny and brilliant, as is Margot Robbie as sweet Sharon Tate.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — also starring Luke Perry in his final role, Kurt RussellDakota Fanning and Lena Dunham — hits theaters July 26.

This article originally appeared on People. For more stories like this, visit people.com.

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