In the two “Kill Bill” films, Thurman stars as the nameless Bride, who swears revenge on an elite team of assassins she used to be a member of after they attempt to kill her at her wedding. The films are light on plot, heavy on wall-to-wall gory action. Thurman had already been through plenty in preparing for her role, including some brutal martial arts training.
This particular scene was far more harrowing than any of Thurman’s early experiences, however. During the filming of “Kill Bill: Volume 2,” Thurman’s character has a scene where she drives a Volkswagon Karmann Ghia, and Tarantino asked her to perform the stunt driving herself.
According to a New York Times profile of Thurman, Tarantino would not take no for an answer. “He was furious because I’d cost them a lot of time,” said Thurman, in her very personal interview. “But I was scared. He said: ‘I promise you the car is fine. It’s a straight piece of road.'” Tarantino told her she needed to hit 40 miles per hour, so that her hair would blow in the wind, threatening to make her do it again if she didn’t. A terrified Thurman agreed to do it, but knew she felt extremely unsafe. “That was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.”