The Incomparable Uma Thurman
By Cristina Greeven Cuomo
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Uma Thurman is as beautiful and timeless as a Hollywood star gets. Named for a Hindu goddess, Thurman turns 40 in April, and while that’s long past the expiration date for most actresses, the six-foot-tall platinum blonde is at the top of her game. Thurman has a number of films in the works this year, including the President’s Weekend opening of the much-anticipated fantastical film adaptation of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, as well as Ceremony—directed by Max Winkler (“He’s the Fonz’s son and incredibly talented!” gushes Thurman)—Eloise in Paris, Bel Ami with Robert Pattinson and a third installment of the Kill Bill series.
Thurman’s hyperintelligence comes from her Buddhistscholar father, Robert Thurman, and her incredible and exotic looks are care of her European model mother, Nena. Off camera she spends time lending support to Room to Grow, a nonprofit that helps infants born into poverty.
Thurman is otherwise focused on raising her family (Maya, 11; Levon, 8) while maintaining a relatively private existence under the tabloid radar in New York City since splitting with actor Ethan Hawke in 2004. She’s pocketed a few prestigious awards, including a Golden Globe, along the way. We sat down with her on a recent trip to LA to talk about her exciting year ahead.
LOS ANGELES CONFIDENTIAL: So let’s start with Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Tell me about playing Medusa.
UMA THURMAN: It was actually a very short shoot for me. It’s a huge, beautifully done adventure story full of live action and effects. It was shot in Vancouver, and I have one wonderful scene, and then I’m swiftly beheaded. My head is dragged around throughout the movie. I saw the sort of semi-animation of me with a head full of snakes, and it was creepy and horrible looking.
LAC: Does it look like you, or is it just your voice?
UT: It’s my total face and hands and body. It’s really creepy with the snakes. I’m a little worried about my kids seeing it.
LAC: Did you interact with any real snakes?
UT: When we were doing a rehearsal they brought in a box of huge snakes, and I experienced them up close and personal. I let a lot of them crawl all over me. I saw exactly how hellish [Medusa’s] curse was. It was pretty intense.
LAC: What’s special about your upcoming film Bel Ami besides Robert Pattinson, who is so big right now, being your costar?
UT: He is a big star right now. I’m excited because the film is a classical, technical piece of work, and it’s beautiful. It’s a bit of bedroom drama. It’s a romance between Rob and a number of Parisian housewives.
LAC: And you’re one of the love interests?
UT: I end up marrying him, but there are some twists. My daughter is like, “Mom, why do you keep getting these roles where you’re getting younger men?” And I said, “Well at least I don’t do it in real life.”
Photographs by Ben Watts
Styling by Vanessa Moore at Art Department
Makeup by Jeanine Lobell at The Magnet Agency
Hair by David Babaii for David Babaii for Wildaid
Manicure by Barbara Mutnick for ArtistsbyTimothyPriano.com
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.