Quentin Tarantino has been relatively quiet ever since his former friend and producer for most of his films, Harvey Weinstien, was accused of multiple rapes and other sexual misconduct in Hollywood. In a recent New York Times interview, former leading lady and muse Uma Thurman came out against the director, blaming him for a car crash on the set of Kill Bill. Thurman later shared the video, which was given to her by the director, and stated publicly that she forgave the filmmaker for his decisions that led to the crash. Now, Tarantino is telling his side of what happened.
By all accounts, Tarantino had told Thurman that the car stunt in question was safe, even testing out the stretch of road himself before making his actress get in the driver’s seat. Though, the direction of the road was changed after Quentin tried out the shot for himself. And there was an anomaly in the road, going the other direction that caused the car to spinout. The car crash video that has been released shows Thurman slamming into a palm tree, from her point of view.
Uma Thurman suffered a concussion and damage to both of her knees. She also walked away from the incident with a permanent neck injury. Uma admits that she was nervous about the scene before hand, and became very angry with the director after the fact, since he promised it would be entirely safe. The original NYT piece claims that Tarantino was enraged before the scene was shot, because Uma refused to do it. The article also goes onto claim that Tarantino choked out his actress in one scene on set, which was part of the movie, and spit tobacco juice in her face himself, when the scene called for it.
In a new Deadline interview, Tarantino denies he ever showed angry when it came to Uma Thurman not wanting to get in the car, and agrees that he did convince her to do the dangerous shot. And he has his regrets about the entire ordeal to this day.
“It’s beyond one of the biggest regrets of my career, it is one of the biggest regrets of my life… A trust was broken.”
He went onto describe what happened on set. He offers this.
“I am guilty, for putting her in that car, but not the way that people are saying I am guilty of it. It was just driving. None of us looked at it as a stunt. Maybe we should have, but we didn’t. I’m sure when it was brought up to me, that I rolled my eyes and was irritated. But I’m sure I wasn’t in a rage and I wasn’t livid. I told her it would be OK. I told her the road was a straight line. I told her it would be safe. And it wasn’t. I was wrong. I didn’t force her into the car. She got into it because she trusted me. And she believed me.”
The director goes onto say that he only spit in Thurman’s face because he wasn’t sure Michael Madsen could do the scene in question, and carry it off as intended. He didn’t want to subject Thurman to any unnecessary cruelty in trying to capture the essence of the scene in question.
“I can’t have you laying here, getting spit on, again and again and again, because somebody else is messing it up by missing. It is hard to spit on people, as it turns out.”
About the choking scene, he claims Thurman made the suggestion that the director do it himself, to ensure that the moment look realistic. Tarantino believes that Maureen Dowd, who wrote the initial piece, skewed these moments on set as being sadistic on his part. Uma claims that she had considered suing Miramax over the making of Kill Bill and some of its questionable practices, but Weinstein’s studio said they’d only show the car crash footage if she signed a waver of liability. She refused to do so at the time, and the footage seemingly disappeared.
Thurman recently asked Tarantino if he had the footage, and he went on an expedition to find it, believing it had been destroyed. When he and an assistant located the footage, he gave it to the actress straight away. She has since made the video available on her personal instagram. She is now saying that it was a cover-up that had ‘malicious intent’. Though she forgives Quentin Tarantino for the crash, she is now blaming producer Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and Harvey Weinstein. She says this.
“They lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and chose to suppress.”
The entire interview with Quentin Tarantino, which is quite lengthy, can be found at Deadline. There, he further goes into the incident and accusations, saying he, too, believes there was a cover up. The director tries to paint a better picture of himself. At the same time, he doesn’t let himself off the hook. He does say that Uma and him are still great friends, even though they experienced a fight that lasted for years, and were estranged for some time. They are now at a healthy and productive point in their relationship. But it is unclear if the two will collaborate on a future project together. Tarantino is in the midst of casting his 9th film, which only has Leonardo DiCaprio attached at this time. Tom Cruise and Margot Robbie are also said to be eyeing the project, which revolves around Hollywood stuntmen and the Charles Manson killings in 1969.