Uma Thurman told writer Maureen Dowd her harrowing story this weekend in The New York Times that,
“She has been raped. She has been sexually assaulted. She has been mangled in hot steel. She has been betrayed and gaslighted by those she trusted.
Since the revelations about Weinstein became public last fall, Thurman has been reliving her encounters with him — and a gruesome episode on location for ‘Kill Bill’ in Mexico made her feel as blindsided as the bride and as determined to get her due, no matter how long it took.”
In a scene in Kill Bill she was asked to do the driving herself. She said that she didn’t feel comfortable driving and would rather a stunt person to do it.
“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.’”
He persuaded her to do it, and instructed: “ ‘Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again.’ But that was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.”
Thurman didn’t want to drive the car and she said she had been warned that there were issues with it, but she felt she had to do it anyway. It took her 15 years to get the footage of the crash.
“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 a 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 says her relationship with Quentin Tarantino was severely damaged as well. She says,
“We 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.
Quentin finally atoned by giving it to me after 15 years, right? Not that it matters now, with my permanently damaged neck and my screwed-up knees.
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?” She says she didn’t feel disempowered by any of it. Until the crash.
Personally, it has taken me 47 years to stop calling people who are mean to you ‘in love’ with you. It took a long time because I think that as little girls we are conditioned to believe that cruelty and love somehow have a connection and that is like the sort of era that we need to evolve out of.”
You can read the whole awful story here. You can also see the terrible crash below.
(Photo, Miramax, screen grab; via NY Times)