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Uma Thurman Blames ‘Kill Bill’ Injury on Quentin Tarantino Forcing Her to Drive ‘Deathbox’ Car

Actress says stunt accident on set of 2004 film caused her ”permanently damaged neck and my screwed-up knees“

Uma Thurman blames director Quentin Tarantino for a “permanently damaged neck” and “screwed up knees,” as well as the feeling that she had been reduced to a “broken tool” during the filming of a famous scene in “Kill Bill.”

In the climax of the film, Thurman’s character, Beatrix Kiddo, is seen driving through Mexico in a blue Karmann Ghia as she looks for Bill. Behind the scenes, Thurman told the Times’ Maureen Dowd that she wasn’t comfortable driving the car after a teamster told her there might be problems with the vehicle because its transmission had been reconfigured.

Thurman wanted a stunt driver to do it, but acquiesced after a “furious” Tarantino talked to her in her trailer.

“He said: ‘I promise you the car is fine. It’s a straight piece of road’,” she recounted. He persuaded her to do it, and instructed: “‘Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again.’ But that was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.”

In the film, the result of the drive is a shot from the backseat of Beatrix driving down the sandy road. But in real life, Thurman lost control of the car and crashed into a palm tree, suffering a concussion and damage to her back and legs. She says that after she came back from the hospital, she and Tarantino had an “enormous fight” over the incident.

“I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me,” Thurman said.

Tarantino later showed remorse after Thurman’s then-husband, Ethan Hawke, came down to the set and spoke with him. But when Thurman demanded footage of the crash, Miramax said they would only give it if she signed a waiver “releasing them of any consequences of my future pain and suffering,” Thurman refused. She instead went on an acrimonious media tour for “Kill Bill” during which she had another fight with Tarantino over the footage.

After the extent of Weinstein’s abuse was exposed in the press back in October, Thurman renewed her efforts to pressure Tarantino into handing over the footage. He finally relented, with the footage being published on the Times’ website.

“Harvey assaulted me but that didn’t kill me,” she says. “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?”

Reps for Tarantino did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.