Saturday brought Uma Thurman's long-awaited detailing of the "unpleasant things" Harvey Weinstein did to her, and her recounting included a second name: the third member of the "Miramax troika," as Maureen Dowd wrote in her interview with Thurman: Quentin Tarantino. The article included Thurman's account of being abused on-set by the director: forced to perform an unsafe car stunt during the filming of Kill Bill despite her protests and suffering injuries when it went wrong, and choked and spit on during the filming of two scenes. In an interview with Deadline, Tarantino responds.
- The car crash: Tarantino says he drove the section of road himself and assured Thurman she'd manage the straight shot fine. He recalls her trusting him and agreeing, but says a late decision to have her drive in the opposite direction he road-tested—to better capture the setting sun—was the problem. "That is one of the biggest regrets of my life," he says. "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." He says upon walking the road he realized what felt straight in one direction somehow had a "little S-curve" in the other.
- Spitting on Thurman: As for the choking and spitting, he clarifies that Dowd didn't quote Thurman there. "It's part of Maureen Dowd’s prose. For some reason there is a lot of hay being made out of this. ... What's the f---ing problem?" He tries to make the case that a shot of getting spit on is common in film, and "naturally" he did it. "Who else should do it? A grip? ... I didn’t trust Michael Madsen [the spitter in the scene] because, I don’t know where the spit’s going to go."
- The choking scene: "It was Uma’s suggestion. To just wrap the thing around her neck, and choke her. ... I was the one on the other end of the chain and we kind of only did it for the close ups. And we pulled it off. Now, that was her idea. Consequently, I realize ... that is a real thing."
- The aftermath: He says the car 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. We weren't estranged. But we were over each other for a couple of years." That's no longer the case. "We're both one of the closest people in each other's lives."
- His role in the Dowd piece: Tarantino says he and Thurman had talked extensively about her plans to speak with Dowd, and that the plan was for him to also talk to Dowd and verify Thurman's claims. "And we never hooked up. Me and Dowd never hooked up. ... Uma was in turmoil about the uprising against me this whole weekend. She blames me for not talking to Maureen Dowd, saying it's your own damn fault. She never meant this to roll over onto me."
- Who she meant to roll this onto: Just check her Instagram, says Tarantino. In a Monday post, she shared the crash footage and wrote that Tarantino "was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event." He isn't the problem, she writes. "THE COVER UP after the fact is UNFORGIVABLE. for this i hold Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and the notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible. they lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress. ... shame on these three for all eternity." Tarantino says the men lawyered up to keep their names largely out of Dowd's piece.
Read the extensive interview in full here
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