Phase9 Entertainment

KILL BILL VOLUME 2 - US interview with Uma Thurman

Given all the time and effort you've put into KILL BILL, you must be delighted to get two movies out of it.

It is amazing. It's totally amazing, and what's most exciting is seeing how both the movies are one story interlaced with each other and how they stand alone as individual films. That makes it very gratifying. The creativity of him is incredible.

They really are completely different films, though. The frenetic pace of the first one... this one seems to be a lot more paced, let's say.

Yes. I find that the first one seems like a thrilling build-up and the second one is where all the characters come to roost... and you feel that more of the story is the second one, it's much richer in character and emotion and yet still has the incredible fun/action/explosions in the middle of it. But it's got a lot more underneath it.

There's a lot more explained in this film, a level of understanding. In that respect, does it come full circle for you?

It does come full circle. The story is concluded in this chapter... I just sat there and watched all that work turn into two extraordinary hours and I felt so happy.

When you watch the film do you think of the hell you went through, or do you have a sense of accomplishment?

I have both. I think I have a sense of seeing so much work folded up so beautifully and neatly into a short film, and I feel really gratified by that.

People are tempted to describe this as (gulp) a Tarantino love story.

Gulp. There is a lot of passion and emotion in the second half. It's a tragic love story, maybe.

Are you a person that's inclined to carry a grudge, experience that sense of vengefulness?

No, I think it's not really a healthy use of energy, but it sure makes good drama.

It seemed, in the first film, that that was the only thing that was driving The Bride.

Yes. And it is in the first film because in the first film she's just burned out, flying through the sky; she's completely living for only one thing... almost like someone who's dead already and living for revenge. And in the second one is where you really see the origins and the death of the character.

When you were shooting I assume you presumed there was only one film then... Did you understand the need to break it down?

Absolutely because if you've made one even a 120-minute film out of it, maybe he would have put months and months and months of work on the floor...

All that work would have gone to waste.

That's what we were wondering about when we were shooting, so it made so much sense.

What does VOLUME 2 show differently about The Bride? Is there a progression like there is with the other characters?

I think The Bride as a woman is revealed by the end of this film... the many, many colors of her. The character is so tightly held and so tightly committed in the whole beginning section and had nothing to live for. In the second section of the movie you see what this woman did live for, what she will live for and why.

I'm not sure we're allowed to reveal...

No, we can't reveal...

Oops. No.

That's the good thing about these movies - they're so surprising!

Yeah. Well, the film certainly has a lot to do with priorities and responsibility, I suppose. How, when you became a mother, did your view of the world change?

Oh, well, I used to joke that you're not a citizen until you're a parent. I think it makes you feel connected to your community, your family, yourself in just a whole different way than you are when you aren't really truly responsible for anyone directly more vulnerable than you are.

It's strange how the film is, well, both films are really a progression of showdowns between the people on the death list, and there is in this film though the showdown between The Bride's main rival in Elle... was that a particularly poignant showdown in terms of rivalries?

I think that it was meant to be the most voted as similar type... that there was the most animosity, is why Quentin wanted Daryl, because she's tall and thin and blonde, there is this sense of similar types having the most issues with each other. It was a very funny scene to shoot, two skinny blondes bashing the lights out of each other in a tiny trailer - laughable.

It's not the ideal location for a sword showdown, is it?

That was part of the comedy... that they're trying to have a sword showdown but they hardly had room to pull the sword out in this room.

Do you see your progression as a fighter, a martial arts fighter throughout the second film?

I think you see her in many different ways... yes, she's got the sort of expertise that you discover. Some of the stuff with me and learning the kung fu, which is so funny, with me going -- HAAAAA -- I worked so hard to do that comic stuff.

What a character, that Pei Mei... what a character he is.

Oh, he's terrible but he's wonderful.

I gather you were complimented by Yuen Wo-Ping, the martial arts choreographer... He was quite surprised at the level of proficiency that you had achieved.

I think their expectations of me were so low when I walked into their training studio 50 pounds overweight with my kid on my hip... I think their expectations were like... what is he thinking? They're very beautiful people and they respect discipline more than anything, and that was what I had to do and show them that I could do, and so we sort of won each other's hearts by struggling through that process together.

Thank you very much for your time.

Thank you.

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