Quentin Tarantino is the kinda guy who knows what he wants — and gets it. During the halcyon days of making his first few movies, he met and began casting Uma Thurman in roles. He would later refer to her as his “muse,” even though they never had a romantic relationship with one another.
Here’s how she gained enormous success with Pulp Fiction and pursued additional projects after that movie and her even bigger starring turn in Kill Bill.
Uma Thurman and Her Fiction-al Life
Vanity Fair said Pulp Fiction’s makers originally considered a handful of actors who weren’t Uma Thurman to play Mia Wallace, wife of a crime boss. The other candidates for the role reportedly included Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Holly Hunter, and Rosanna Arquette.
But Tarantino quickly decided on Uma Thurman. “Uma’s the only person he met with [by himself],” producer Lawrence Bender told Vanity Fair.
For her own part, Uma Thurman wasn’t sure she was a great fit for the part of Mia Wallace.
“I was 23, from Massachusetts,” she reportedly told Vanity Fair. “I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in the movie,” she said.
Uma Thurman admitted some of the grislier scenes in Pulp Fiction scared her — and almost scared her away from the project. also the anal rape of her crime-boss husband. “Pretty frightening,” she said.
“He wasn’t this revered demigod auteur that he has grown into,” Thurman added. “And I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it, because I was worried about the Gimp stuff,” she added referring to a lewd act in the movie.
“We had very memorable, long discussions about male rape versus female rape,” Thurman also reportedly said. “No one could believe I even hesitated in any way. Neither can I, in hindsight.”
Thurman’s Post-‘Pulp’ Life
Uma Thurman was even more instrumental in a subsequent Tarantino project, the Kill Bill film. While Tarantino is listed as the film’s sole writer, Thurman helped bring the concept of the central character, the Bride, to fruition.
Sadly, the actor’s tenure with the series ended in a quick and terrifying manner. Toward the end of the Kill Bill shooting, Thurman crashed a car on set, sustaining a concussion and knee damage. Tarantino and Thurman’s relationship hit an all-time low.
Currently, Uma Thurman stars in Super Pumped. The Showtime anthology drama TV series features — you guessed it, Quentin Tarantino — as narrator.