Charles Manson’s role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was a lot shorter than many anticipated. If you hadn’t been looking out for it, you could have easily missed Damon Herriman’s performance as the cult leader. The Quentin Tarantino film ran on the long side already with a 2 hour and 41 minute runtime, but the auteur director initially had more scenes featuring Manson. Here’s what Herriman recently said about his cut scenes:
Did you hear that? It’s an orchestra of loud sighs from Tarantino fans. Damon Herriman certainly perks an interest for the deleted footage from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s first cut to be released – especially when he says it was some of the filmmaker’s best writing! The Charles Manson actor continued his Collider interview with these words:
Damon Herriman did clarify that his Charles Manson doesn’t have a bunch of extra unseen footage. He seems to be specifically hanging on one other scene that he calls Quentin’s best (on the page anyway). Who knows? It may not have worked in the movie as much as Tarantino expected it to, so he made the call to cut it out. Or to satisfy the main stories revolving around Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton, Brad Pitt’s Cliff Dalton and Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate, he left Manson in the background.
The actor does get to play Charles Manson more in depth in David Fincher’s Mindhunter. Damon Herriman also plays the famous criminal on the Netflix show’s second season, in 1980 when he is in prison. Each is a different take on the cult leader considering the time difference. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it’s 1969 and he’s at the height of his power.
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