Quentin Tarantino is talking about his complicated relationship with Kill Bill franchise star Uma Thurman.
Thurman, subject of a New York Timespiece published Feb. 3, played foxy Mia Wallace in the filmmaker's Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill movies. Those films established disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, accused of sexual harassment and assault, as a Hollywood mogul.
In the Times piece, she says, “I am one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone, the way I did. Quentin used Harvey as the executive producer of Kill Bill, a movie that symbolizes female empowerment. And all these lambs walked into slaughter because they were convinced nobody rises to such a position who would do something illegal to you, but they do.”
While Weinstein's behavior behind the scenes were questionable, Tarantino's behavior on set also raised questions. Thurman says the director personally spat in her face and choked her with a chain for two scenes in the movie Kill Bill.
Tarantino tells Deadline.com in a Q&A published Monday that the spitting scene was indeed what she described. He says, "Naturally, I did it. Who else should do it? A grip? ... So I asked Uma. I said, I think I need to do it. I’ll only do it twice, at the most, three times. But I can’t have you laying here, getting spit on, again and again and again, because somebody else is messing it up by missing. It is hard to spit on people, as it turns out."
As for the choking, the director tells Deadline: "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."
He continues, "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."