‘Kill Bill’: Vivica A. Fox Once ‘Lost It’ on Quentin Tarantino After He Accused Her Co-Stars of Not Working Hard Enough
Vivica A. Fox couldn’t be prouder of her time working with Quentin Tarantino in Kill Bill Vol. 1. Just being in a Tarantino film alone is seen as an accomplishment by many actors. But in the beginning, adjusting to Tarantino’s directorial style proved to be a challenge for the actor. So much so she ended up cursing at Tarantino after she felt the director went too far.
Vivica A. Fox thought inviting Quentin Tarantino over her house would ruin her chances to star in ‘Kill Bill Vol. 1’
Fox was already a popular and well-known actor by the time Tarantino got in touch with her. She’d featured in low-budget cult classics like Bootycall, and starred in blockbuster phenomenons like Independence Day. But it was perhaps one of her lesser-known films in Two Can Play That Game that got Tarantino’s attention. Tarantino scheduled to meet Fox in a coffee shop to gauge whether or not he’d like the actor.
“The first thing he told me was that he was in a video store and saw my name on the cover of the Two Can Play That Game DVD,” Fox recalled in her book Every Day I’m Hustling. “’I was like Vivica Fox,’ he said, shouting my name like I already was an action hero. ‘I am going to take this home, and if she moves me on the screen, that’s who’s gonna play my Vernita Green.’”
After getting to know one another, Tarantino told Fox that he was going to send her a scene from Kill Bill. He would come over Fox’s house so the two could rehearse the scene together. But Fox was concerned doing so would ruin her chances to grab the part.
“The truth was that I was living in a huge eight-thousand-square-foot mansion in Tarzana. I’d invested in real estate, was doing very well, thank you, and this place frankly looked like a diva lived there,” Fox said.
She thought Tarantino would end up judging her based on her extravagant lifestyle.
“I was afraid he would take one look at the place and say, ‘Here I thought Vivica was hungry,’” Fox remembered.
But fortunately for Fox, her home had no bearing on Tarantino’s decision to hire her. After rehearsing, Fox found herself in a Quentin Tarantino movie.
Vivica A. Fox cursed at Quentin Tarantino after he called her and her castmates out for not working hard enough
Vivica A. Fox soon discovered that filming a Tarantino flick was unlike filming any of her previous films. Because of the physicality of the role, Fox and her castmates were required to train for their parts.
“Drama aside, the training itself was brutal. We’d do fight choreography, knife throwing, samurai lessons, and hit the treadmill and weights in between,” Fox revealed.
She also asserted that she felt like she was “in the damn Olympics or something.”
But what didn’t help was Tarantino’s expectations of the team. Fox revealed that for three weeks the Django unchained director would tear into Fox and her castmates for not working hard enough. In the third week, Fox had enough of Tarantino’s criticism.
“And I lost it on him,” Fox said. “’Is this a beat us up contest?’ I asked. ‘Are we f****** doing anything right? Goddamn.’ Everyone gasped. I felt Uma drawback. Lucy [Liu] grabbed my hand and was trying to do a kind of acupressure on me, whispering, ‘Calm down, calm down.’”
Eventually, Thurman would pull Fox to the side to have a talk with her.
“’You have to learn to be quiet, speak less,’” Thurman told Fox. “’He’s tough, but he’s not stupid. He’ll concede you something if it’s to make the film better. Learn to attack intelligently, Vivica. Because he’s got the power to fire you.’”
Fox studied how Thurman handled situations with the director to learn how to work with Tarantino moving forward.
“I watched her argue with Quentin, intelligently and successfully, for wardrobe changes and even dialogue rewrites,” Fox wrote. “She made it a true collaboration, pushing him away from simply making an ode to the samurai films he made us all watch with him, toward something new.”
Vivica A. Fox’s thoughts on a potential Kill Bill Vol. 3
Quentin Tarantino has been considering making a third sequel to his Kill Bill volumes for years now. Although Fox hasn’t heard anything about a potential sequel herself, she’d be more than happy to be a part of it.
But what I’m hoping is that they’re letting my daughter, who was young at the time, get a little bit older,” Fox told Too Fab. “She [Uma Thurman] said that thing, ‘Hey, if you’re sure about it, come find me.’ Well, I hope we come looking for you, girlfriend. And, y’know, I could just be in a flashback.”