Kiwi stunt­woman speaks out

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page - ROSE DAVIS

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.

Hol­ly­wood stunt­woman Zoe Bell gave a can­did talk on Wai­heke last Thurs­day. ROSE DAVIS/STUFF

Peace ac­tivist Lucy Ste­wart talks at the W3 event. ROSE DAVIS/STUFF

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