Years after hitting the big screen, Quentin Tarantino‘s action thriller “Kill Bill” still carries the same allure as it did when it first debuted on October 10, 2003. The martial arts film was a big box office hit grossing over $180 million against a $30 million budget.
Uma Thurman played the lead in the movie, costarring with a host of other brilliant actors. But ever since, there have been numerous questions about why Michelle Yeoh, who was friends with Tarantino, was passed over for the cast despite having the necessary martial arts training.
In a recent interview, Yeoh disclosed a startling fact about why she wasn’t a part of “Kill Bill” or its sequel and how Tarantino helped her get back into acting.
Quentin Tarantino’s Reason For Not Casting Michelle Yeoh In ‘Kill Bill’
Yeoh and Tarantino had been friends for years before the actress before the making of “Kill Bill.” Both were fans of each other works, and the actress was already well-known for possessing a particular set of martial arts abilities that would have spiced up the action thriller.
On being left out of the film, Yeoh revealed Tarantino’s “smart” response when she got around to asking him. “Who would believe that Uma Thurman could kick your ass?” the actress recalled the film’s director’s response during an interview with Town and Country.
Thurman played the Bride in “Kill Bill,” who vowed vengeance on a group of assassins that were hunting her. Yeoh’s inclusion in the movie would have suggested that she portrays a member of the assassins’ group. While Thurman had put in a lot of effort to prepare for the part, Yeoh was more well-known for having superior martial arts skill sets; hence, it would have been odd if Thurman’s character had defeated her.
Quentin Tarantino Encouraged Michelle Yeoh To Continue Acting
In the interview, Yeoh also recalled a touching moment when Tarantino spoke to her about returning to acting. At the time, the actress had seemingly given up on acting after fracturing her vertebrae while making the nineties film “The Stunt Woman” and was in immense pain.
“I thought I broke my back. I thought I was paralyzed,” Yeoh said about the incident. The actress was in no mood to receive visitors as she battled her pain. However, Tarantino, who was in Hong Kong to screen “Pulp Fiction,” ensured that he saw her.
“I must say, Quentin, he’s persistent. He is who he is today because he’s full of passion and love, so he wore me down. Suddenly we became animated. So then I thought, ‘Maybe I’m not ready to give up on this,'” Yeoh said.
Michelle Yeoh Says ‘Life Is About Moving Forward’
Yeoh doesn’t feel slighted about not starring in “Kill Bill.” She shares the same feeling about other missed chances and thinks it’s best not to concentrate on regrets.
“I go forward because life is about moving forward …Failures make us stronger, and they make us understand the path,” she said.
Yeoh has starred in a slew of films since missing out on “Kill Bill.” In 2005, she portrayed Mameha in the onscreen adaptation of “Memoirs of a Geisha” and starred opposite Jet Li in the 2008 action thriller “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.”
The actress’ versatility has made her play roles that are not limited to showing her martial art skill set. In 2018, she starred as the family matriarch Eleanor Young in the rom-com “Crazy Rich Asians” and is set to make a return in its upcoming sequel.
‘Kill Bill 3’
For fans who might still want to see Yeoh star in a “Kill Bill” sequel, all hope is not lost, given that Tarantino has previously hinted that a third movie in the “Kill Bill” franchise remains a possibility.
“I just had dinner with Uma Thurman last night,” Tarantino said in a 2019 interview with Andy Cohen per Fox News. “We were at a really cool Japanese restaurant. I do have an idea of what I would do with [‘Kill Bill Vol. 3’]. That was the whole thing, conquering the concept. What has happened to The Bride since then? And what do I want to do?”
A new sequel for “Kill Bill” is bound to portray a new and fresher narrative for The Bride. Thurman will most likely return in her role, but Yeoh’s chance of getting a spot is still wrapped in uncertainty.
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