Michelle Yeoh Reveals Why Quentin Tarantino Refused to Cast Her in Kill Bill

Actor Michelle Yeoh has been a martial-arts legend for decades whose work has inspired countless audiences, with Quentin Tarantino being one of the most vocal champions of her work. Despite that praise, Tarantino opted not to enlist Yeoh's talents into his Kill Bill films, which initially disappointed the performer, though she revealed that it was because he didn't think audiences would believe Uma Thurman could take her down. Even though that collaboration never ended up happening, Yeoh recalled that a conversation with him earlier in her career inspired her to return to acting, despite suffering a potentially devastating injury.

While speaking with Town & Country about how she wasn't in Kill Bill, Yeoh joked, "I asked Quentin the same question ... He's very smart. He said, 'Who would believe that Uma Thurman could kick your ass?'"

Yeoh detailed how, after breaking her back filming The Stunt Woman in 1996 and nearly becoming paralyzed, Tarantino requested to meet her and he ended up recounting all of her impressive stunts throughout her career in an animated interaction.

"I thought I broke my back. I thought I was paralyzed," the actor confessed. "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."

She added, "Suddenly we became animated ... So then I thought, 'Maybe I'm not ready to give up on this.'"

Tarantino has been saying for years that he aims to retire after his tenth film, which would make whatever he directs next his swan song, so there's still an opportunity for Yeoh to make an appearance. Some fans are even hoping his final film would be a third Kill Bill installment, which would surely give Yeoh an opportunity to show off her skills.

"Well I just so happen to have had dinner with Uma Thurman last night, we were at a really cool Japanese restaurant," Tarantino revealed to The Hollywood Reporter in 2020. "She was bragging about me, and I was bragging about her, it was a lovely night... Well I do have an idea of what I would do. That was the whole thing, conquering that concept... exactly what's happened to the Bride since then, and what do I want to do. Because I wouldn't want to just come up with some cockamamie adventure -- she doesn't deserve that. The Bride has fought long and hard. Now I have an idea that actually could be interesting -- I wouldn't do it for a little bit though... It would be like at least three years from now or something like that. But look, it is definitely in the cards."

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Of course, while Tarantino might only be interested in directing one more film, we can't rule out him writing or producing a project while handing directing reins over to another filmmaker.

Do you wish Yeoh had appeared in Kill Bill? Let us know in the comments!