Uma Thurman has officially chosen to elaborate on the events which she alluded to near the end of 2017. She warned us last year at the premiere for The Parisian Woman that she would speak out about inappropriate behavior in the workplace when she was good and ready, and now she’s ready. In an interview with The New York Times, Thurman opened up about her experiences in Hollywood.
Uma played Mia Wallace in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in 1994. She also played the lead in Tarantino’s Kill Bill franchise (Volume 1 in 2003 and Volume 2 in 2004). These movies were the epitome of the cool arthouse films that Harvey Weinstein and Miramax were known for producing, and Uma Thurman was smack in the middle of everything that entailed.
“The complicated feeling I have about Harvey is how bad I feel about all the women that were attacked after I was,” she said, referring to the other women who Weinstein allegedly assaulted. “I am one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone, the way I did. Quentin used Harvey as the executive producer of ‘Kill Bill,’ a movie that symbolizes female empowerment. And all these lambs walked into slaughter because they were convinced nobody rises to such a position who would do something illegal to you, but they do.”
Thurman claims that her former agency, Creative Artists Agency, was allegedly connected to Weinstein’s behavior toward women, placing her in an awkward position: “I stand as both a person who was subjected to it and a person who was then also part of the cloud cover, so that’s a super weird split to have,” she said. The agency has issued a public apology recently, for what it’s worth.
In November of last year, Thurman took to Instagram to elaborate on her anger and let off some steam. “I am grateful today, to be alive, for all those I love, and for all those who have the courage to stand up for others,” she posted. “I said I was angry recently, and I have a few reasons, #metoo, in case you couldn’t tell by the look on my face. I feel it’s important to take your time, be fair, be exact, so…Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! (Except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators-I’m glad it’s going slowly-you don’t deserve a bullet)-stay tuned.”
H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G I am grateful today, to be alive, for all those I love, and for all those who have the courage to stand up for others. I said I was angry recently, and I have a few reasons, #metoo, in case you couldn’t tell by the look on my face. I feel it’s important to take your time, be fair, be exact, so… Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! (Except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators – I’m glad it’s going slowly – you don’t deserve a bullet) -stay tuned Uma Thurman
Months later, her anger has abated enough to describe in detail her relationship with Weinstein as well as her allegations against him. Once Pulp Fiction became a huge success, essentially solidifying Weinstein’s status in Hollywood, she grew closer to him. “I knew him pretty well before he attacked me,” Thurman explained. “He used to spend hours talking to me about material and complimenting my mind and validating me. It possibly made me overlook warning signs. This was my champion. I was never any kind of studio darling. He had a chokehold on the type of films and directors that were right for me.”
Things soon allegedly went askew during a meeting in his hotel room in Paris. “It went right over my head,” she said. They were arguing about a script when he allegedly came out in a bathrobe. Thurman saw this as simply a quirk, thinking initially that it was nothing to be too concerned about, explaining that she “thought he was being super idiosyncratic, like this was your kooky, eccentric uncle.”
She was allegedly asked to follow him down a hallway, detailing what reportedly happening next: “Then I followed him through a door and it was a steam room. And I was standing there in my full black leather outfit—boots, pants, jacket. And it was so hot and I said, ‘This is ridiculous, what are you doing?’ And he was getting very flustered and mad and he jumped up and ran out.”
Though she managed to get away from him during that occasion, it seems that Weinstein reportedly did not stop in his advances. She was allegedly attacked by Weinstein at another time soon after. “It was such a bat to the head,” she recalled. “He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me. You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard. I was doing anything I could to get the train back on the track. My track. Not his track.”
Afterwards, he sent her roses. According to Thurman, he also reportedly arranged for his assistants to put her in awkward situations where she couldn’t avoid seeing him. He even allegedly threatened to derail her career. Thurman recalls standing up for herself and saying, “If you do what you did to me to other people you will lose your career, your reputation and your family, I promise you.”
Using a spokesperson, Weinstein issued refutations of trying to end Thurman’s career or damage her relationships in Hollywood. He called her “a brilliant actress.” He acknowledged the incidents but described them as “a flirtatious and fun working relationship.”
The statement seemed to confirm that Weinstein made an alleged advance towards Thurman, though it frames it as “a pass…after misreading her signals.” It also adds that he allegedly apologized, which would have occurred all the way back in 2001, as Tarantino and Thurman were preparing to film Kill Bill.
Still, Thurman was emphatic about her accusations, resulting in her relaying her alleged experience to Tarantino on two separate occasions. This led eventually to another encounter with Weinstein in which Thurman addressed her allegations. She describes his reaction, nothing that “at some point, [Weinstein’s] eyes changed and he went from aggressive to ashamed. I just walked away stunned, like ‘O.K., well there’s my half-assed apology.’”
Once filming was underway for Kill Bill, Thurman also allegedly had unpleasant confrontations with director Quentin Tarantino. One of these confrontations led to a horrifying accident when she was allegedly pressured into performing a dangerous stunt. The scene involved her driving a blue convertible in an attempt to run down Bill, and she didn’t think the car was functioning properly.
“Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director,” she said. “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 instructed her, saying that she needed to “’hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again.’” However, Thurman knew that she would be at extreme risk if she did, calling the vehicle a “deathbox,” complete with a “seat [that] wasn’t screwed down properly.” Even worse, the danger increased because she would be driving down sand, making it even harder to control the car, which eventually crashed as she drove it, just as she had feared.
You can watch the raw footage of the scene below. This took Uma fifteen years to procure.
Contorted into a painful position, she immediately feared the worst:“I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again,’” she relayed. Though she was able to walk, she still experiences neck and knee pain to this day from crash damage.
Even worse, her experience did not end after the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a concussion and wore a neck brace. She details the alleged process post-crash saying that, “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 and her lawyer attempted to get records and video of the crash. However, though Miramax allegedly offered to show her footage of the crash, they would only do so if she reportedly freed them of any responsibility regarding her injuries. She declined, leading to years of fighting with Tarantino, which became even more complicated as they still had to promote their films.
This allegedly boiled over at one point, as Thurman describes a “fateful fight at Soho House in New York in 2004,” where they “were shouting at each other.” Tarantino reportedly refused to show Thurman the footage, claiming that it had already been decided upon.
Thurman described further allegations during filming that drove a wedge between herself and Tarantino. It seems that Tarantino decided to engage in performing the acts of dehumanization which were done to her character in Kill Bill. First, he reportedly spit in her face during a scene where Michael Madsen’s character performs the act. Then, he allegedly took on the role of hand double for Gogo, choking Thurman with a chain. This is similar to accusations described by Diane Kruger to Parade while they were filming Inglourious Basterds. “I get strangled, which was especially weird because Quentin’s hands are in the close-up,” Kruger explained. “Quentin said, ‘He’s not going to do it right, it’ll either be too much or too little. I know exactly what I need and I think I should just do it’. I have to say it was very strange being strangled by the director.” In other words, Thurman is not the only one to express allegations of such an act by the literal hands of Tarantino.