Quentin Tarantino Says Uma Thurman's Crash on Kill Bill Is 'The Biggest Regret of My Life'
The Oscar-winning director told Deadline in an interview published Monday that he was “guilty” of getting Thurman into the car that would eventually crash into a tree “but not the way that people are saying I am guilty of it.”
The interview comes two days after Thurman spoke of the incident in a New York Times article that detailed allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein, who produced Kill Bill. Thurman released footage of the crash on her Instagram account on Monday.
“It’s the biggest regret of my life, getting her to do that stunt,” he said. Tarantino said he delivered the video to the actress to offer “closure” and also to “help her with her memory of the incident.”
He said he never considered Thurman driving the car a stunt, just a simple driving sequence. Tarantino said when he heard of Thurman’s trepidation at driving he “rolled my eyes and was irritated. But I’m sure I wasn’t in a rage and I wasn’t livid.”
“I heard her trepidation,” he said. “And despite that, we had set up everything in this shot, I listened to it.”
He continued, “Anyone who knows Uma knows that going into her trailer, and screaming at her to do something is not the way to get her to do something. That’s a bad tactic and I’d been shooting the movie with her for an entire year by this time. I would never react to her this way.”
Tarantino said he drove down the road before Thurman did, but that he failed to drive down it in the opposite direction as well, which led him to miss a hidden S-curve that caused the actress to lose control of the vehicle while cameras rolled.
“As a director, you learn things and sometimes you learn through horrendous mistakes,” Tarantino said. “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.”
“And she crashed,” he continued. “After the crash, when Uma went to the hospital, I was feeling in total anguish at what had happened.”
Tarantino explained that after the crash, his relationship with Thurman was never the same again. The two had begun a working relationship working on Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction and made two Kill Bill films together.
RELATED VIDEO: Uma Thurman Accuses Weinstein of Sexual Assault and Claims Tarantino Almost Killed Her in Stunt Gone Wrong
Despite that, he said the crash caused a rift between the two for the next two to three years.
“It wasn’t like we didn’t talk,” he said. “But a trust was broken. A trust broken over a year of shooting, of us doing really gnarly stuff. I wanted her to do as much as possible and we were trying to take care of her and we pulled it off. And then the last four days, in what we thought would be a simple driving shot, almost kills her.”
In the Times article, Thurman alleged that the Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill director — who worked closely with her and Weinstein on both projects — forced her to do a stunt in Kill Bill that left her neck “permanently damaged” and her knees “screwed-up.”
WATCH: Uma Thurman’s Chilling Response to Harvey Weinstein Scandal
Thurman said she believed the “circumstances of this event were negligent to the point of criminality.”
She clarified that she didn’t believe there was malicious intent from Tarantino and forgave him.
“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.”
As for the controversy that came from the Times story, Tarantino said, “I feel like I’ve been honest here and told the truth, and it feels really good after two days of misrepresentation, to be able to say it out loud. Whatever comes of it, I’ve said my piece. I’ve got big shoulders and I can handle it.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for Weinstein admitted the producer made “an awkward pass” at Thurman but denied he ever physically assaulted her, calling her claims “untrue.”
“There was no physical contact during Mr. Weinstein’s awkward pass,” the spokesperson said. “Mr. Weinstein is saddened and puzzled as to ‘why’ Ms. Thurman, someone he considers a colleague and a friend, waited 25 years to make these allegations public.”