By Philip Berk & Erin Free

“It was very intense and very scary,” Uma Thurman told FilmInk in 2003 of reuniting with her Pulp Fiction director, Quentin Tarantino, for Kill Bill. “Quentin hired Master Woo-ping Yuen – who did The Matrix – to choreograph the action scenes. So I was put through this training session, which was three months long, five days a week, nine hours a day of physical training. In the script, I’m a master of every weapon that you can imagine, from samurai swords to kung-fu, so I had to be an expert in five styles of fighting! I’ve never done anything as physical in my life. It was really a challenge.”

The challenge paid off, with Thurman and Tarantino creating one of the greatest female action heroes of all time. Tarantino’s cinematic double shot (his original single film was famously cut in two for its theatrical release due to its length) of blood, violence, and mayhem is a wildly and wonderfully over the top affair, and Uma Thurman is the eye of the storm. The lead role was not only written for her (her and Tarantino came up with the character themselves), but production was actually delayed a full year to accommodate the actress’ unplanned pregnancy with son, Roan.

Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino on the set of Kill Bill
Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino on the set of Kill Bill

In Kill Bill: Vols 1 & 2, Thurman plays The Bride, an assassin who plies her bloody trade for The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, a crew of killers led by Bill (David Carradine), and featuring O-Ren (Lucy Liu), Elle (Darryl Hannah), Budd (Michael Madsen) and Vernita (Vivica A. Fox). When The Bride decides to get married and leave the squad, the others track her down on her wedding day and kill everyone at the church in a shocking wave of bloodshed. Left for dead, The Bride ends up in a coma, but after four years, she awakens, and starts her long, vivid, gruesome trail of revenge. It’s a truly extraordinary journey, and remains one of Tarantino’s most vital works. “He had such an impact on cinema,” Thurman told FilmInk of her Pulp Fiction director. “Oftentimes, getting famous is a lot for a person to work through, but he’s just so talented. He still writes the best darn dialogue of just about anybody. He’s really an artist, albeit a controversial and combative one. The images that he plays with can be terrifying, but you trust that he knows what he’s doing. It’s a ferocious rollercoaster ride with me swinging all the way through it. It’s crazy, it’s funny, and violent, but it’s also comically violent. It references every genre, and it even has a touch of the horror film in sequences. It pretty much covers the whole map.”

And The Bride is the brilliant compass around which it all spins…

If you are a big fan of Kill Bill then don’t miss out on trying this fun quiz game about the movie.


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