Published Feb 06, 2018On Saturday (February 3), Uma Thurman finally spoke out about her own experiences of sexual assault in Hollywood in another bombshell New York Times report implicating Harvey Weinstein. But she also revealed a horrific story from the set of Kill Bill, claiming that Quentin Tarantino put her life in danger during the filming of the blockbuster franchise. The director has now responded to the story, calling the stunt gone wrong the "biggest regret of my life."
Speaking to Deadline, Tarantino shared his own recollection of a car crash on set that left Thurman severely injured.
"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," he said. "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."
Tarantino admitted that he asked her to drive between 35 and 40 miles per hour to get her hair blowing a particular way, but the similarities between their accounts end there.
Tarantino said that he had test-driven the straight patch of desert road, and despite calling Thurman a "shaky" driver, figured she would be okay because she had a licence. He also admitted to switching the direction of the vehicle at the last minute to capture the changing light outside.
Thurman described the director being "furious" at her when she expressed her trepidations, and described the car itself as a "deathbox." She also said the sandy road wasn't straight.
Thurman conveyed the feeling of trust she had in Tarantino prior to the accident, explaining that she had confided in him about hotel room attacks by Weinstein. He had even confronted Weinstein at the Cannes Film Festival prior to filming Kill Bill, managing to elicit a "half-assed" apology from the producer.
That feeling of trust contributed to her decision to go through with filming the driving scene, but as recently uncovered footage shows, Thurman struggled with operating the car before it drifted off the road and into a palm tree.
"I came in there all happy telling her she could totally do it, it was a straight line, you will have no problem," Tarantino said. "Uma's response was…'Okay.' Because she believed me. Because she trusted me. I told her it would be okay. 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."
She ended up concussed with permanent damage to her neck and knees — not to mention a damaged relationship with her director.
"I accused him of trying to kill me," she said. "And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn't feel he had tried to kill me."
"We were in a terrible fight for years," she added, claiming that the tension continued throughout the entire promotional cycle of the Kill Bill films, eventually leading to a blow-up fight at Soho House in 2004.
"It affected me and Uma for the next two to three years," Tarantino said. "It wasn't like we didn't talk. But a trust was broken."
Adding to strained relations, when Thurman asked Miramax for footage of the crash, the company offered it to her with a document releasing Miramax from "any consequences of my future pain and suffering." She refused to sign it. It was only this year that Thurman received footage of the crash, which Tarantino said he was "happy" to provide.
"I wanted to deliver it to her, so she could look at it," he told Deadline. "So she could see it and help her with her memory of the incident."
He claims that if Weinstein and Miramax ever did anything to cover up the footage or destroy evidence, he was not involved.
Tarantino added that he and Thurman have since "hashed it all out, put it behind her and we've been fantastic friends ever since."
Thurman, meanwhile, said she has finally learned to "stop calling people who are mean to you 'in love' with you," and called on humanity to evolve beyond views that teach young girls that there is a link between cruelty and love.
Read the New York Times' full interview with Thurman here, and Deadline's entire interview with Tarantino here.