Quentin Tarantino has broken his silence about the violent car crash Uma Thurman experienced on the set of Kill Bill, calling it “one of the biggest regrets” of his career and life — but adding that he thought the vehicular shot was safe at the time and did not badger the actress into performing it.
The filmmaker addressed the crash in a lengthy interview with Deadline Hollywood published Monday evening, two days after Thurman spoke of the incident in a New York Times story detailing allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein, a producer on Kill Bill and longtime Tarantino collaborator. (Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women, has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex, as well as claims that he retaliated against women who rebuffed him.)
Thurman told the Times’ Maureen Dowd that she had been uncomfortable filming the driving shot and got into a years-long fight with Tarantino after the crash because she was not allowed to view the footage. Tarantino recently provided her with the footage, and Thurman said in an Instagram post Monday that she does not hold him responsible for the handling of the accident.
Tarantino told Deadline he had spoken to Thurman in advance of the Times story and meant to take part and support her. “Part of my job on the piece was to do an interview with Maureen Dowd, and back up Uma’s claims,” he said. “And we never hooked up. Me and Dowd never hooked up.” He added that he “ended up taking the hit and taking the heat.”
Regarding the crash, Tarantino said he had tried to ensure Thurman’s safety by first driving the car down the stretch of road himself, to make sure there were no hidden curves or dips. Although the road seemed clear, Thurman was filmed driving in the opposite direction and ended up hitting an S-curve and crashing.
“It was heartbreaking,” Tarantino said. “Beyond one of the biggest regrets of my career, it is one of the biggest regrets of my life. For a myriad of reasons.” He added that the crash “affected me and Uma for the next two to three years. It wasn’t like we didn’t talk. But a trust was broken.”
As for the controversy ignited by the Times story, and the potential reaction to his comments, Tarantino said, “I feel like I’ve been honest here and told the truth, and it feels really good after two days of misrepresentation, to be able to say it out loud. Whatever comes of it, I’ve said my piece. I’ve got big shoulders and I can handle it.”
A representative for Thurman did not immediately respond to request for comment.