Uma Thurman Kill Bill Crash

Footage & aftermath of the Kill Bill car crash

Uma Thurman had claimed negligence on the part of director Quentin Tarantino and the ‘Kill Bill’ producers for coercing her into driving a car which she felt uncomfortable doing, thinking that the stunt would be too dangerous. She ultimately attempted to drive the car, a 1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible, which resulted in a crash that still haunts her. After years of dispute surrounding the accident, Tarantino located the footage and turned it over to Thurman.

The actress called the circumstances surrounding the accident “negligent to the point of criminality” and “the cover-up after the fact Is unforgivable.” Thurman had asked a stunt person to drive the convertible for an iconic Kill Bill scene, after she heard from a teamster that the vehicle might not be performing properly. Tarantino pushed her to drive it herself anyway, and as seen in the footage, Thurman hit a palm tree in the process. Her head slumps backward in the clip; eventually, she is lifted out of the vehicle. Thurman does state that she does not believe there was “malicious intent” on Tarantino’s part before the crash.

“Quentin Tarantino, was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event, and gave me the footage years later so i could expose it and let it see the light of day, regardless of it most likely being an event for which justice will never be possible,” Thurman wrote. “He also did so with full knowledge it could cause him personal harm, and i am proud of him for doing the right thing and for his courage.”

Thurman stated that at the time of the accident, “The steering wheel was at my belly and my legs were jammed under me. I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again.’” After the crash, Thurman and Tarantino had a falling out—but 15 years later, the director gave her the footage. Still, Thurman does not appear to be ready to make amends with producers on the film; as she wrote on Instagram, “THE COVER UP after the fact is UNFORGIVABLE.”

It was difficult for Thurman to work after the accident, the actress said: “I went from being a creative contributor and performer to being like a broken tool. . . . What really got me about the crash was that it was a cheap shot. I had been through so many rings of fire by that point. I had really always felt a connection to the greater good in my work with Quentin and most of what I allowed to happen to me and what I participated in was kind of like a horrible mud wrestle with a very angry brother. But at least I had some say, you know?”

Kill Bill producer Lawrence Bender has issued a response to Uma Thurman, sharing a statement: “I deeply regret that Uma suffered the pain she has, both physically and emotionally, for all of these years from the accident that occurred on the set of Kill Bill,” he said. “The safety of the professionals who work on the movies I produce is vital to me and I never want to let anyone down.” However, he also asserts that there was no “cover up,” as Thurman claimed. “I never hid anything from Uma or anyone else nor did I participate in any cover up of any kind — and I never would,” he said.

Quentin Tarantino addressing the car accident, stated, “It’s the biggest regret of my career, getting her to do that stunt.” The director added that, “She blamed me for the crash and she had a right to blame me for the crash. It was literally my happiest day this year, when Shannon found that footage and sent it over to me and I knew I was going to be able to present it to Uma.” According to Tarantino, he performed the stunt himself before Thurman to make sure it was safe; he disputed any notion that he was furious with her for not wanting to do the stunt herself.

“I start hearing from the production manager, Bennett Walsh, that Uma is trepidatious about doing the driving shot. None of us ever considered it a stunt. It was just driving. 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.”

Tarantino added, “I didn’t mean to do it. I talked her into getting in the car, I assured her the road was safe. And it wasn’t. The car might even have been dubious too even if I didn’t know that then. We had our issues about it.”