All of Quentin Tarantino’s movies are odes to cinema in their own way, packed with references to some of the director’s personal favorites, but it turns out that Uma Thurman wasn’t sold on the idea of channeling Bruce Lee’s Game of Death when it came to her iconic yellow tracksuit from Kill Bill Vol. 1.
Her eye-catching ensemble was the focal point of the marketing that featured on virtually every poster for the revenge-driven action thriller, and ended up splattered in blood when she decimated the Crazy 88 during the extended sword battle that dominated a huge chunk of the running time. You’d have thought Tarantino would have earned Thurman’s trust after the success of Pulp Fiction, but he revealed in a new interview that she absolutely hated the outfit at first.
“Uma hated the yellow tracksuit. Hated it. Didn’t get it. Thought she looked like a Popsicle, a banana Popsicle. She was just not into it. She had no idea who Bruce Lee was, practically. I finally had to show her Game of Death. She sorta kind of got it. Now, since then it’s become this totally iconic thing. And she probably doesn’t even remember it, But she was like, ‘You’re trying to make me look like a clown!’.”
There are elements of the Golden Age of Hollywood, samurai cinema, blaxploitation and the spaghetti Western seeping out of almost every frame of Kill Bill Vol. 1, with visual and narrative nods towards such a diverse array of titles as Shogun Assassin, A Fistful of Dollars, The Searchers, Once Upon a Time in the West, War of the Blonde Gargantuas, Blade Runner and so many more, but the Game of Death homage is the most obvious by far.
When you think of The Bride, the first thing that typically comes to mind is Beatrix Kiddo kitted out in her signature outfit and brandishing a sword, ready to kick all sorts of ass as she tracks down the crew that left her for dead. It’s become one of Kill Bill Vol. 1‘s most indelible images despite Thurman’s initial misgivings, and nobody that’s seen the film would dare compare her to a banana Popsicle.