As “Everything Everywhere All at Once” clearly demonstrated, Michelle Yeoh makes just about anything ― even a hot-dog-fingered love story with Jamie Lee Curtis ― feel believable.
But according to Quentin Tarantino, there’s one scenario that even the global superstar couldn’t pull off, specifically when it came to his “Kill Bill” films starring Uma Thurman.
Speaking with Town & Country in a cover interview published on Wednesday, Yeoh revealed that she once asked the director why he didn’t cast her in the films, given that they were partly inspired by her own performance in 1992’s “Police Story 3.”
“He’s very smart,” Yeoh recalled to the outlet. “He said, ‘Who would believe that Uma Thurman could kick your ass?’”
Tarantino’s decision stems from a deep appreciation for Yeoh, who is best known for her many martial arts-infused performances in Hong Kong action films, in addition to projects like “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
“I was just a huge, huge fan of hers,” the director told Town & Country about Yeoh. “There was always a twinkle in her eye.”
The two developed a deep friendship when Tarantino helped inspire Yeoh to keep acting after she suffered an injury on the set of the 1996 movie “The Stunt Woman.”
“I thought I broke my back. I thought I was paralyzed,” Yeoh said, revealing that Tarantino begged to visit her in the hospital while he was in Hong Kong for a screening of “Pulp Fiction. “I must say, Quentin, he’s persistent.”
She agreed to speak with him for only five minutes, which quickly turned into a much longer meeting, as Tarantino began describing his favorite action sequences in detail.
“He is who he is today because he’s full of passion and love, so he wore me down,” Yeoh added. “Suddenly we became animated. So then I thought, ‘Maybe I’m not ready to give up on this.’”
The two have yet to collaborate onscreen, but Tarantino has teased that he only has plans to make 10 films, leaving room for one final production. Fans have long hoped that the director would make a third installment of his “Kill Bill” series, which could once again star Thurman as The Bride and her real-life daughter, “Stranger Things” star Maya Hawke, as Bebe.
“I think it’s just revisiting the characters 20 years later and just imagining the Bride and her daughter having 20 years of peace, and then that peace is shattered,” Tarantino said in an interview last year. “And now The Bride and Bebe are on the run and just the idea of being able to cast Uma [Thurman] and cast her daughter Maya [Hawke] in the thing would be fucking exciting.”
And if there still isn’t a role for Yeoh in the rumored film, at least she’ll be plenty busy in the coming years with series like “American Born Chinese” and “The Witcher: Blood Origin,” as well as “Avatar” sequels galore on the horizon.
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