On Saturday, the New York Times published Uma Thurman’s detailed recollection of the assault she endured from Harvey Weinstein. Alongside the Weinstein accusation, Thurman discussed a horrifying moment when Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino had the actress drive a rickety car down a dirt road, resulting in a car crash. Until this weekend, the car crash had never been discussed publicly by Tarantino, Thurman, or others on set.
In a new interview with Deadline, the director is given space to explain his side of the incident, and address the other claims in the article—that he spit on the actress during Kill Bill’s production and choked her in another. Tarantino notes that he knew the New York Times story was coming, as he and Thurman had spoken about it "for a long period of time." The director's comments comes hours after Thurman thanked him for sending her the footage of the Kill Bill car crash.
According to Tarantino, Thurman was nervous about doing the car scene, so he test drove the vehicle down the road in one direction to show her that it was safe. Because of lighting, Tarantino asked Thurman to drive it the other direction, something he says he regrets.
“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,” he said of the moments leading up to the car crash. “I thought, a straight road is a straight road and I didn’t think I needed to run the road again to make sure there wasn’t any difference, going in the opposite direction. Again, 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.”
Deadline later asks Tarantino plainly about the other accusations that came to light in the New York Times article. Tarantino testified he did have to spit in Thurman’s face for a scene in Kill Bill, and the choking, he insists, was also part of the production of the film and Thurman’s idea. “Frankly, I wasn’t sure how we were going to shoot that scene,” he said. “It was Uma’s suggestion. To just wrap the thing around her neck, and choke her. Not forever, not for a long time. But it’s not going to look right. I can act all strangle-ey, but if you want my face to get red and the tears to come to my eye, then you kind of need to choke me.”
As for the numerous sexual misconduct claims against Weinstein, Tarantino said "it was easier to chalk up what he was doing, to this mid-‘60s, Mad Men, Bewitched era of an executive chasing the secretary around the desk." Tarantino’s ex-girlfriend Mira Sorvino is also one of Weinstein’s many accusers. Read the rest of the interview here.