Quentin Tarantino addressed the controversy surrounding Uma Thurman's car crash during filming for Kill Bill and recalled what happened prior to the incident in an exclusive interview.
Tarantino clarified that he did not force Thurman to get in the car for one of the stunts in the film contrary to what reports are saying he is guilty of. However, he admitted that he is guilty of putting her in the vehicle. The filmmaker considered the stunt as the greatest regret in his life.
The Kill Bill director went into detail on what transpired before Thurman's car crash. He remembered that it happened in one of the last days of filming and the second day of filming Michael Parks' Esteban Vihaio scene. Tarantino recalled that after they wrapped up Parks' scene, Thurman, who played The Bride, was supposed to do a driving stunt.
However, Bennet Walsh, the production manager, said that Thurman was hesitant to do the stunt even though she knows how to drive and that she has a driver's license. Tarantino remembered being irritated but he is certain that he was not angry contrary to what the New York Times reported.
"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. I can imagine maybe rolling my eyes and thinking, 'we spent all this money taking this stick shift Karmann Ghia and changing the transmission, just for this shot,'" Tarantino told Deadline.
Instead of screaming at her and forcing her to do the stunt, the director took the car for a drive himself to test the road. Tarantino remembered driving on a straight road with "no weird dips, there were no gully kinds of things, no hidden S-curves."
Confident that it would be an easy feat for the actress, Tarantino talked to Thurman in her trailer and assured her that she would just be driving down a straight road. He remembered that he was all smiles while he explained how she can get from point one to point three at a speed of 30-45 mph. However, when filming rolled, they had to change direction because of the lighting.
"We changed our number one, so the car would be driving in the opposite direction from the way I had gone down. And that was the beginning of where the crash happened," the director explained.
Tarantino also denied claims that someone from transportation reported that the car did not work. He said that if this had happened, then the First AD, the production manager or the producer would have decided against using the vehicle that led to Thurman's car crash in Kill Bill.