Uma Thurman was given this Kill Bill car crash footage from Quentin Tarantino apparently as a means of insurance for a ‘just in case’ situation. You can see as she’s driving that the car she’s in isn’t exactly safe on the type of road she’s traveling down. The road isn’t much more than a sandy path that doesn’t bode well for much of anything but a set of tires with some serious tread, which this car doesn’t have. This came to be one of the biggest regrets that Tarantino has had in his career since it endangered the life of one of his top actors and could have very easily gone much worse.
The worst part about it though is that the top execs of The Weinstein Company, of whom Harvey Weinstein is named as a conspirator, tried to get rid of this footage in order to make it look like nothing had happened. There’s been so many accusations flying about that unfortunately such a thing tends to get lost in the shuffle until it’s finally revealed and the truth is allowed to come out. Uma didn’t want to do this stunt as she’s claimed but was kind of pressured into it. This shows that Hollywood isn’t always the safest place and that actors can’t always punch their own ticket and call the shots. The chances are good that she might have been pressured into it in some way, but without any real evidence other than this that part of it would be hard to know.
What is known is that her head bounced off of the steering wheel hard enough to rightly believe that it hurt abominably and could have done a great deal of damage to her neck, her skull, and to her body in general. If not for a seat belt she could have been going for a very nasty and very short trip that could have easily killed her. I get the idea of driving fast down a back country road to make a scene look cool, but the safety of the actor has to come first and this didn’t seem to be the case in this particular instance. Tarantino has said that he’s expressed regret ever since for this scene and quite honestly he should, but the one thing he did right was give a copy of the footage to Thurman in order to keep it in case she ever needed it. I don’t think even he would be so crass as to give the footage to her as a memento.
You can say a lot of things about Tarantino, but one thing he does try to do often it seems is take care of his actors. Thurman rightly blamed him for the crash, and he does take responsibility for it, but at the time he was pressuring her into doing it and didn’t want to hear no for answer. The only trouble was that despite the fact that he’d driven the straight portion of the road, Thurman was then instructed to drive back the other way, where there was a big S curve waiting that Tarantino never drove. So yeah, that was his bad, completely. But at least he owned up to it.