celebrity

Inside Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino's tumultuous personal and professional relationship.

For many years, actor Uma Thurman and director Quentin Tarantino had a fractured relationship – despite them both helping to make each other rich and famous.

Thurman’s three most-known films, Pulp Fiction, and Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2, were directed by Tarantino, who was her friend, and professional collaborator. At the time, Thurman was also the director’s muse, with Tarantino even comparing their relationship to that between Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren.

But for many years there was an unspoken tension between the muse and director, which only became public last year.

Watch the trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Post continues after video:

Now it seems that all has been forgiven – or at least, most of it.

Tarantino, 56, has a new film, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, and last week, Thurman, 49, posted to her Instagram a photo of them together on the set of Kill Bill. In the caption, she congratulated Tarantino on his most recent offering.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Uma Thurman (@umathurman) on

ADVERTISEMENT

Here’s what we know about what happened between the two friends.

The car crash scene in Kill Bill in 2003.

The public first learned of the car crash scene issue between the pair in February 2018, when Thurman gave an interview to The New York Times, revealing that whilst she did a driving stunt as her character, Beatrix Kiddo, she crashed into a tree, suffering what she said was permanent neck damage, a concussion and damage to her knees.

Tarantino had strongly encouraged her to perform the stunt herself. When the actor expressed safety concerns, the director assured her it would be okay.

But it wasn’t. After Thurman’s serious and significant injuries, the pair never worked together again.

In the New York Times interview, Thurman explained that for years, she fought for footage of the accident, and was refused it by Tarantino and the studio – the Weinstein Company. Finally, one night, the formerly close friends openly fought about what had happened.

“We had a fateful fight at Soho House in New York in 2004,” Thurman revealed.

“We were shouting at each other because he wouldn’t let me see the footage, and he told me that was what they had all decided.”

They continued to be friends, but in a far less intimate form.

Thurman also revealed in the interview that after the car accident, her husband at the time, Ethan Hawke, told Tarantino “that he had let Uma down as a director and as a friend.”

Hawke told Tarantino, “She is a great actress, not a stunt driver, and you know that.”

Hawke reported to his wife that the confrontation made Tarantino “very upset with himself, and [he] asked for my forgiveness.”

But the forgiveness wouldn’t come until more than a decade later.

In 2017, in the midst of the #MeToo movement (which began with allegations against Weinstein Company co-founder, Harvey Weinstein), the director finally acknowledged Thurman deserved to see the footage of the accident, and found it for her. He also apologised.

The move went a long way to healing their tenuous relationship. Thurman posted the video to her Instagram on February 6, 2018:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Uma Thurman (@umathurman) on

ADVERTISEMENT

“Quentin Tarantino, was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event,” Thurman captioned the footage.

“[He] gave me the footage years later so I could expose it and let it see the light of day.

“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.”

Despite her forgiveness, Tarantino struggled to forgive himself. In a February 2018 interview with Deadline, Tarantino expressed regret for how he treated Thurman.

The director revealed that seeing the crash footage was “just horrible … it was heart-breaking”, and that encouraging Thurman to perform the stunt was “the biggest regret of my life”.

“It affected me and Uma for the next two to three years,” he added.

“It wasn’t like we didn’t talk. But trust was broken.”

The Harvey Weinstein factor.

In her February 6, 2018 Instagram post of the car crash video, Thurman placed responsibility where she thought it lay, writing that the film’s producers, including “the notorious Harvey Weinstein”, had covered the incident up.

“They lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress,” she wrote.

But it’s not the only way Thurman feels that Weinstein has negatively affected her life.

In The New York Times interview, the actor discussed being a victim of Weinstein, who had produced all three of her films with Tarantino. She revealed that the former Hollywood mogul had sexually attacked her at The Savoy Hotel in 1994.

Thurman explained she had told Tarantino about the attack in 2001, and the director confronted Weinstein, who denied much of it.

Tarantino continued his working relationship with Weinstein in subsequent years, which was a source of further tension between the director and actor.

ADVERTISEMENT

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Uma Thurman (@umathurman) on

In another interview following the Weinstein abuse revelations in late 2017, Tarantino told The New York Times that he feels guilty about the situation.

“I knew enough to do more than I did,” he said about the historical sexual allegations against Weinstein.

“There was more to it than just the normal rumours, the normal gossip. It wasn’t second-hand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”

Tarantino also revealed that in 1995, his then-girlfriend, actor Mira Sorvino, told him Weinstein had made inappropriate advances toward her.

Thurman and Tarantino’s future relationship.

Last year, Thurman said she would consider working with the director again, and last month, Tarantino confirmed that he and the actor had been discussing working together on the potential film, Kill Bill 3.

The director spoke about it again on the Happy Sad Confused podcast recently.

“Me and Uma have been actually talked about it recently,” he said.

“If any of my movies would be taken — me and Uma were literally talking about it last week — so if any of my movies were going to spring from one of my other movies, it would be the third Kill Bill.”


For more gossip celebrity news, sign up for our “Mamamia Celebrity” newsletter. The best entertainment stories of the day to help you unwind.


00:00 / ???