Kiwi stuntwoman speaks out
Uma Thurman’s Kiwi stunt double Zoe Bell wishes she could have protected the Hollywood star from a car crash on the set of Kill Bill.
Speaking after a Wonderful Waiheke Women’s (W3) event last Thursday, Bell said she had been injured about three months before Thurman’s crash, so wasn’t on set to drive the car.
‘‘I was angry I wasn’t on set, because I get protective of the people I’m doubling,’’ Bell, 39, said.
Thurman claims she was pressured by director Quentin Tarantino to drive a dodgy car on a dangerous road while filming a scene in 2003.
The actress crashed into a palm tree, suffered a concussion and injured her knees and still suffers the effects of the injuries.
Bell, who grew up on Waiheke, said a series of ‘‘miscommunications’’ meant the stunt people who should have been on hand that day were not.
Asked if Tarantino was generally too pushy, Bell said he wasn’t the person she was angry with.
‘‘Quentin is a really important person to me on a personal level. I feel like that’s a testament to the type of person he is.
‘‘I don’t surround myself with a lower quality of human.’’
Bell said she ‘‘respects and admires’’ both Thurman and Tarantino.
Thurman is one of many Hollywood actresses who have spoken out about producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexually predatory behaviour.
Bell was ‘‘shocked’’ to hear the testimony of Weinstein’s victims, but not ‘‘surprised’’.
‘‘I never had a moment with Harvey when I was like ‘I like this guy’. But he was never sexually predatory with me.’’
The stuntwoman suspects Weinstein would not have felt comfortable trying his tricks of sexual coercion on her.
‘‘I’m a loudmouth and a tomboy and fresh out of New Zealand.
‘‘I was potentially a threat - I’m stoked about that.’’
Bell was also thrilled to volunteer her time to talk to a crowd of more than 100 women at Batch Winery last week.
She talked about her journey from being a staunch stuntwoman to an actress who needs to show her emotional vulnerability.
‘‘I’ve physically kicked so many men’s asses and I can totally feel proud of that.
‘‘But what I’m recognising with age is my vulnerability is a source of strength, which seems so ironic.’’
Waiheke peace activist Lucy Stewart was another impressive speaker at the W3 event.
Stewart was a New Zealand representative to the United Nations during negotiations for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons last year.
The treaty banning nuclear weapons was adopted by 122 United Nations member states and is a milestone for nuclear disarmament.
‘‘The two critical issues facing the world are nuclear weapons and climate change - and nuclear weapons can kill us a lot faster.
‘‘I’m really optimistic change is possible and is happening.
‘‘We want to build stigma about nuclear weapons to the point no one wants to touch them,’’ Stewart said.
She urged people to avoid investing in banks or shares that support the nuclear arms industry.