Quentin Tarantino has opened up about his role in Uma Thurman’s car crash on the sets of “Kill Bill”, calling it “the biggest regret” of his life but denied any involvement in hiding the footage from the actor.
The director, in a detailed interview with Deadline, also discussed Thurman’s sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the aftermath of the crash and accusations of cruelty in the star’s recent New York Times story.
“… That is one of the biggest regrets of my life. As a director, you learn things and sometimes you learn them through horrendous mistakes. That was one of my most horrendous mistakes, that I didn’t take the time to run the road, one more time, just to see what I would see,” Tarantino said.
In the article, Thurman had revealed that she suffered severe injuries after she was pressured into driving a stunt car she did not feel comfortable operating.
The studio, fearing a lawsuit, allegedly refused to provide Thurman’s lawyer with the footage of the crash.
Tarantino, who has been facing a lot of heat for allegedly colluding with Weinstein in hiding the footage from Thurman in the NYT article, in fact, it was he, who finally dug out the clip and gave it to the actor for the article.
“Uma asked, could I get her the footage? I had to find it, 15 years later. We had to go through storage facilities, pulling out boxes… I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think we were going to be able to find it. It was clear and it showed the crash and the aftermath. I was very happy to get it to Uma.”
Tarantino said he knew that the article on Thurman would include the crash footage but he did not realise he would be considered the villain in the situation.
The director said the “prose” of the New York Times article made it seem like Thurman blamed him for the crash, whereas the actor hoped the footage would indict the film’s producers; in an Instagram post on Monday, Thurman defended Tarantino, saying she held producers Lawrence Bender, E Bennett Walsh, and “the notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible”.
“Quentin Tarantino was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event, and gave me the footage years later so I could expose it and let it see the light of day, regardless of it most likely being an event for which justice will never be possible,” Thurman wrote.
“He also did so with full knowledge it could cause him personal harm, and I am proud of him for doing the right thing and for his courage,” she said in her post.
Tarantino, on his part, admitted that he still blames himself for convincing Thurman to sit in the car as he thought it was a simple driving scene and had already taken a test drive. The director also mentioned that the Hollywood star was a shaky driver at the time.
“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.”
Tarantino, who worked with Thurman on his biggest hits “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill” series, admitted that the crash led to problems in their relationship.
“She blamed me for the crash and she had a right to blame me… I didn’t mean to do it. I talked her into getting in the car, I assured her the road was safe. And it wasn’t. The car might even have been dubious too even if I didn’t know that then. We had our issues about it.”
Tarantino said Thurman told him that Weinstein forced himself on her and he believed her as the producer had acted in a similar manner with his then-girlfriend Mira Sorvino.
“While we were getting ready to do ‘Kill Bill’, Uma tells me that he had done the same thing to her. That was when I realised there was a pattern, in Harvey’s luring and pushing attacks. So I made Harvey apologise to Uma,” the director said.
He also addressed the accusations that he spat on and choked Thurman during key scenes in “Kill Bill” but the director said it was done with complete trust between them and it was required for a scene.
Tarantino blamed NYT columnist Maureen Dowd for the use of her obtuse language in describing the incident.