The stunt coordinator on the Kill Bill movies has responded to a disturbing recent allegation made by Uma Thurman regarding a crash during production that left her injured.
Coordinator Keith Adams told The Hollywood Reporter that he and his entire department were kept off set the day Thurman was allegedly pressured by director Quentin Tarantino to drive a rattrap convertible down a curved, sandy Mexican road at 40 mph.
The drive resulted in a crash that gave her a concussion, damaged her knees and could have caused worse injuries.
Uma drove a ‘deathbox’ blue convertible for one of The Bride’s scenes, despite arguing that she didn’t feel safe in the car. A video acquired by the New York Times sees Uma lose control of the vehicle and crash into a palm tree.
‘No stunts of any kind were scheduled for the day of Ms. Thurman’s accident,’ states Adams in an email to the The Hollywood Reporter.
‘All of the stunt department was put on hold and no one from the stunt department was called to set. At no point was I notified or consulted about Ms. Thurman driving a car on camera that day.’
Adams insists that if he was involved in the incident he would have taken different measures.
‘Had I been involved,’ Adams continues, ‘I would have insisted not only on putting a professional driver behind the wheel but also insuring that the car itself was road-worthy and safe. [sic]’
Adams is an experienced coordinator with a particular expertise in automotive work according to veteran stunt performer and coordinator Andy Armstrong.
He did not say whether he thought his department was intentionally held at bay to facilitate having an actor perform driving maneuvers. It was not immediately clear who prepared the call sheet that day and who decided to make the stunt department idle.
Tarantino told Deadline that ‘none of us ever considered it a stunt. It was just driving.’
Uma, 47, told NYT: ‘The steering wheel was at my belly and my legs were jammed under me. I felt this searing pain and thought, “Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again”.
‘When I came back from the hospital in a neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset. Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and 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.’
This week, Uma has defended Tarantino while posting the disturbing crash footage to her Instagram.
She wrote: ‘I post this clip to memorialize it’s full exposure in the nyt by Maureen Dowd. The circumstances of this event were negligent to the point of criminality. I do not believe though with malicious intent.
‘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.
‘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. THE COVER UP after the fact is UNFORGIVABLE.
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‘For this i hold Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and the notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible. They lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress. The cover up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity.
‘CAA never sent anyone to Mexico. I hope they look after other clients more respectfully if they in fact want to do the job for which they take money with any decency.’
Tarantino, 54, has since spoke out about the Uma Thurman interview, saying that ‘a trust was broken’ with his friend after the crash.
He told Deadline: ‘Watching her fight for the wheel…remembering me hammering about how it was safe and she could do it. Emphasising that it was a straight road, a straight road…the fact that she believe me, and I literally watched this little S curve pop up. And it spins her like a top.
‘It was heartbreaking. Beyond one of the biggest regrets of my career, it is one of the biggest regrets of my life.’
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