It’s been three days since Uma Thurman’s powerful interview was published in the New York Times. In the piece, Thurman opened up about her traumatic experiences with Harvey Weinstein and how they intersected with her once close collaborator, Quentin Tarantino.
While filming the Weinstein-produced Kill Bill, Thurman recalled that Tarantino forced her to drive an unsafe vehicle, even after she asked that a stunt person be used in her place. It resulted in a crash that left Thurman with permanent knee and neck damage.
And now, in a February 4th interview with Deadline, Tarantino confessed that he considers the resulting crash “the biggest regret of my life.”
However, he also said that he had tested the road she would be driving on to make sure it was safe, but only in one direction — not the direction she actually drove in.
Tarantino also noted that he had a totally different recollection of how the initial debate about whether or not she should drive the car unfolded.
“I start hearing from the production manager, Bennett Walsh, that Uma is trepidatious about doing the driving shot,” he said. “None of us ever considered it a stunt. 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 didn’t go barging into Uma’s trailer, screaming at her to get into the car. I can imagine maybe rolling my eyes and thinking, we spent all this money taking this stick shift Karmann Ghia and changing the transmission, just for this shot. Anyone who knows Uma knows that going into her trailer, and screaming at her to do something is not the way to get her to do something. That’s a bad tactic and I’d been shooting the movie with her for an entire year by this time. I would never react to her this way.”
While it’s impossible to know exactly how that day played out, we do know that Thurman put her trust in her director, despite voicing her reservation and fears — and she ended up permanently injured because Tarantino didn’t do his due diligence.
This is one of those cases when we think a simple public (and private) apology — sans excuses — would have been appropriate. Thoughts?