KILL BILL VOLUME 2 - Q&A with Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen and Daryl Hannah
Movie Interview by Neils Hesse
Q&A session with Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen and Daryl Hannah at the London Press Conference
David you are a legend but you have stumbled in the past, true?
I stumble but I have great recovery.
Michael apparently amongst all the scenes you had in this film the scene with the black mamba concerned you the most, pray tell why?
Well I'm not fond of snakes. They have their own agenda, although all they think about is running away. Also I got poked in the eye by the special effects guy with his rubber snake, but it is definitely a hell of a way to go.
DAVID CARRADINE: Yes it was painful for me too just watching it happen to you. [Michael smiles]
Daryl the scene where your character loses her other eye, what was that like to do?
Well that bit was not choreographed and they say that with an adrenaline rush some mothers have picked up cars to free their children. I somehow managed to break the toilet in half and damaged the sink, and brought down the shower rail so it was quite funny.
David a lot of people have said this is your comeback, what is your view on this?
I hate that word, but yes all the places I have been with this film there has been approbation and even Harvey Weinstein, said that I should not forget his name when this blows up.
UMA THURMAN: It is Weinstein, so he was right you have forgotten it! [Crowd laughs]
DAVID CARRADINE: Well this is great but I wasn't exactly on social security, yet [crowd laughs].
Uma, how was it to shoot the coffin scene, as a claustrophobic person myself it seemed very scary to watch?
Well being buried alive should be scary for anyone whether or not you are claustrophobic, [crowd laughs] but saying that I am claustrophobic and we pretty much did everything that could be done with a girl, a coffin and soil. The sound effects are very good and that added to the tension of the moment, other than that it was just another happy day at the office.
MICHAEL MADSEN: Darling it wasn't good for me either, I certainly didn't relish doing that to you.
Could you all describe what it's like working with Tarantino?
MICHAEL MADSEN: Well a lot of people change when they become famous but he hasn't changed he has just gotten bigger toys to play with. I feel very lucky to work with him again - he's inspirational.
DARYL HANNAH: It is like working with a hyperkinetic, 13 year-old, mad film school genius brat but whom is also at his most euphoric when he is at work, he works hard and it is a great experience.
DAVID CARRADINE: He is so much fun, he is as much fun as a barrel of monkeys. It is hard to get Quentin to stop and talk to you as he's like a runaway train so it becomes a privilege to have him stop and concentrate on directing you. Michael Caine once asked John Huston why he wasn't telling him what to do or what he wanted, John replied, "When you cast it right, you don't have to" [crowd laughs]. I have created a metaphor for my whole KILL BILL experience, Quentin found it in the back of an old wine cellar on a vintage bottle of champagne and he dusted it off. He actually got me to push the envelope further than I have ever done. I don't think it's a summer romance [crowd laughs] when I say that for me he is my favourite living director.
UMA THURMAN: He is so engaged and is living through his characters with you and we talked so much on this shoot but it's the moment that the talking stops and the action starts that it all works. He is an audience and these characters he creates are directly linked to the consciousness of the audience and moving with him is scary, like in KILL BILL 1 in the House of Blue Leaves when I was surrounded by all that blood and extras with severed limbs I was screaming inside but excited at the same time. With Quentin you live dangerously and as an actor making these moves and changing the tone shifts is actually very good.
David did you have any doubts about playing Bill?
I couldn't have managed all these years if I didn't think I was the best there was, not to sound arrogant but no doubts about my ability, no. I was told by a fellow stage actor that I was great and he also told me to stay away from TV, of course I didn't listen to him. The people in Hollywood have got this book and if you ain't in it all you can do is wait and as such I have been waiting.
MICHAEL MADSON: You bet!
David what was it like playing this villain?
Bill was as close to me as I have ever gotten although I'm not a serial assassin [crowd laughs] but what the Bride does to Bill would piss me off, especially her marrying some jerk.
UMA THURMAN: Make up artist, the guy in that role is a make up artist.
DAVID CARRADINE: Yes actually he is, he did all our scars and stuff. There are no good guys in Quentin's movies not really, even Bebe stomping on fish isn't exactly sweet. Villains must be approached from their point of view.
Uma you started off in indie films, have you now shifted gear completely with your career?
Careers are always changing. I've shifted gear, lost control of the car and regained control again. Just when I think that I'm done I want to try something else.
Was any stuff borrowed from your personal items at your homes?
DAVID CARRADINE: The production crew took 96 items from my house - swords, cigar cases, paintings, artwork and furniture. Originally Bill was supposed to be in a guarded fortress with bodyguards but as he is supposed to be a travelling killer it made sense for him to instead reside wherever his work took him hence the lavish hotel room. The ring, boots were mine, they also almost always used my car. I've got a lot of good shit! [Crowd laughs]. Quentin was determined to make Bill as close to me as possible. The good thing was that when they brought back my stuff they made copies so I got back doubles and triples.
MICHAEL MADSEN: They were trying to decide what Buck should wear and Quentin said just go over to Michael's house and take whatever he'll give you. I kept the head of the expired Buck it is on the end of a cue in my house and my kids hate it, I also kept his belt as well. I wore my own boots, in fact Quentin wasn't sure which boots I should wear so in the shot in VOLUME 1 I actually have two different boots and this was supposed to highlight Buck's inability to choose but we eventually didn't roll with it.
DARYL HANNAH: Yes my fetish is for tight little nurse outfits, no not really, but I did have an eye patch once just for fun though.
UMA THURMAN: My stuff was really specific so it was all created for me.
This film has got elements of sadism, do you think that directors should be given the freedom to show all their visions?
UMA THURMAN: Do I think that there should be state repression? No, definitely not in my country. I don't think I have great representation in my country, maybe you do.
Does anybody else wish to add to this?
MICHAEL MADSEN: Violence was there before movies existed, and that's that.
DAVID CARRADINE: I like to talk so I'll talk. I love violence and sex in movies, I also like other kinds of movies (he grins) too. Art is the effect not the cause, these movies reflect society we try to make realistic films, not Hulk or Spider-Man but fairly realistic views of the violent times we live in.
DARYL HANNAH: If you don't like it then simply don't go!
Michael why all these violent roles, do you aspire to them?
I aspire to stay employed. I just interpret the characters, I do not write the screenplay. I have played other non-violent characters however I am not remembered for those roles.
DAVID CARRADINE: I remember you from FREE WILLY!
MICHAEL MADSEN [Smiles]: Yeh when we took him to the ocean to actually free him for real he turned back and said no. He couldn't give up those free buckets of fish at the marina, ha!
Any plans for KILL BILL 3?
UMA THURMAN: Well all Quentin's characters are alive inside his head, unless they are actually dead of course and he has very detailed ideas for follow ups to KILL BILL....
DARYL HANNAH: Yes KILL BILL 4 too...
DAVID CARRADINE: And KILL BILL 27
Did any of you get hurt during filming?
MICHAEL MADSEN: Uma's stunt double broke her wrist and Uma got hurt as well.
UMA THURMAN: Lots of bruises and so on - it is the nature of doing stuff like that.
DAVID CARRADINE: I can't remember a film where I haven't hurt myself. I got cut in a swordfight with Michael Jai White, it is on DVD. I have been seriously hurt before but obviously not as seriously as I could be here. Not as dangerous as being a film critic, well at least not if I had anything to with it.