Quentin Tarantino calls Uma Thurman’s crash ‘the biggest regret of my life’

Director responds to claims actor made about filming of ‘Kill Bill’ in recent interview

Director Quentin Tarantino and actor Uma Thurman on stage at the Cannes Film Festival  France in 2014. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Director Quentin Tarantino and actor Uma Thurman on stage at the Cannes Film Festival France in 2014. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


Quentin Tarantino has described Uma Thurman’s car crash on the set of Kill Bill as “the biggest regret of my life”.

The director said he had not considered the driving shot on the Mexico set to be a stunt at the time, before Thurman lost control of the Karmann Ghia and crashed into a palm tree.

He told US trade website Deadline: “I am guilty, for putting her in that car, but not the way that people are saying I am guilty of it.

“It’s the biggest regret of my life, getting her to do that stunt.”

The director was responding to a piece in the New York Times in which Thurman alleged she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.

Thurman also said she suffered a car crash during the shooting of Kill Bill, on which Weinstein was an executive producer, and footage from the crash accompanied the story.

The director said: “I knew that the piece was happening.

“Uma and I had talked about it, for a long period of time, deciding how she was going to do it.

“She wanted clarity on what happened in that car crash, after all these years. She asked, could I get her the footage?

“I had to find it, 15 years later. We had to go through storage facilities, pulling out boxes.”

Thurman has since posted the video of the car crash on Instagram, writing that she does not believe Tarantino had withheld it maliciously and they are now on good terms.

‘I was wrong’

Tarantino told Deadline: “I don’t know exactly what caused the crash, and Uma doesn’t know exactly what cause the crash.

“She has her suspicions and I have mine.”

Tarantino said he did the drive himself to test the road was safe but when Thurman did the shot she drove in the opposite direction.

He said: “I told her it would be okay. I told her the road was a straight line. I told her it would be safe.

“And it wasn’t. I was wrong. I didn’t force her into the car. She got into it because she trusted me. And she believed me.”

He added: “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.”

Recalling the moment of the crash, he said: “Watching her fight for the wheel . . . remembering me hammering about how it was safe and she could do it.

“Emphasising that it was a straight road, a straight road . . . the fact that she believed me, and I literally watched this little S curve pop up.

“And it spins her like a top. It was heartbreaking. Beyond one of the biggest regrets of my career, it is one of the biggest regrets of my life. For a myriad of reasons.”

The story of the crash accompanied allegations made by Thurman that she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein at the Savoy Hotel in London.

A spokeswoman for Weinstein said the producer acknowledges making “an awkward pass 25 years ago in England after misreading her signals”.

She said he “immediately apologised”, adding: “Her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue.”

He is considering legal action, his lawyer, Ben Brafman, said. – PA