Uma Thurman has finally spoken out about the alleged horrific experiences she suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein and Quentin Tarantino.
In a revealing interview with the New York Times, Uma has told all about her experiences with the movie mogul (which you can read here) and with her once-collaborator and director Tarantino.
According to Thurman, her experiences with Weinstein infected her relationship with the Oscar-winning director, though Tarantino did challenge his producer about the incidents with his muse.
But from then on, she felt ‘blindsided’ by Tarantino during shooting of the Kill Bill films, when she was asked to drive a car down a road. The car in question, according to Thurman, was not working properly, and crew members knew this. Rather than get a stunt person to do the shot, Tarantino had insisted Thurman do the take herself.
Uma told the New York Times she didn’t feel comfortable operating the car, saying:
Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director. He was furious because I’d cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. He said: ‘I promise you the car is fine. It’s a straight piece of road…’
[Tarantino] instructed: ‘Hit 40 miles per hours or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again.’ But that was a deathbox I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.
When she drove the car, she crashed it into a tree, and in footage in the New York Times article, Thurman can be seen heaving until crew members pull her from the wreckage of the car.
The steering wheel was at my belly and my legs were jammed under me. I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again’.
When I came back from the hospital in an neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset. Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me.
And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me.
Thurman’s then-husband Ethan Hawke admonished Tarantino for his alleged pressure in getting Thurman to do the shot. He said he told Tarantino that he had failed Uma ‘as a director and as a friend’.
Tarantino did reportedly ask for forgiveness from both Thurman and Hawke, but the relationship between Thurman and Tarantino was ‘rattled’ from that point onwards.
Thurman tried to get access to the footage of the crash from Miramax (the film’s distributor of which Harvey Weinstein is co-founder), though they would only reveal the footage to her if she signed an agreement which absolved them of any responsibility for her pain. She didn’t.
We [Thurman and Tarantino] were in a terrible fight for years. We had to then go through promoting the movies. It was all very thin ice.
We had a fateful fight at Soho House in New York in 2004 and we were shouting at each other because he wouldn’t let me see the footage and he told me that was what they had all decided.
But in the wake of the reckoning going on Hollywood at the moment, Thurman handed the results of her own excavations to the police and ramped up the pressure to cajole the crash footage from Tarantino. He did.
In the Kill Bill films, Tarantino himself allegedly performed some of the ‘sadistic’ acts inflicted on Thurman’s character, including spitting in her face and choking her with a chain.
Harvey assaulted me but that didn’t kill me. What really got me about the crash was that it was a cheap shot. I had been through so many rings of fire by that point.
I had really always felt a connection to the greater good in my work with Quentin and most of what I allowed to happen to me and what I participated in was kind of like a horrible mud wrestle with a very angry brother.
But at least I had some say, you know?
Thurman said she didn’t feel disempowered by any of it, until the crash, when she realised her true purpose in their eyes.
Tarantino was approached for comment by the New York Times, though did not respond.