Quentin Tarantino instantly saw parallels between his meeting with Uma Thurman and the Jack Rabbit Slim’s scene in “Pulp Fiction.”
“If you remember that scene, the two people don’t really know each other,” he explained to Rolling Stone. “It’s a strange situation, kind of unusual, why they’re there together, but in the course of having to suffer through this thing, a connection happens. They click into each other and begin to appreciate each other. And Uma and I were doing that scene. We were living the movie, all right?”
Once he’d met the “Gattaca” actor, the director’s gears started to turn. “I left thinking, ‘Wow, who is that girl? God, she could be Mia!” Tarantino remembered. Still, he wasn’t totally sold on Thurman until he met with another potential Mia.
“It was with this terrific actress who totally got the piece,” he admitted. “But I’m sitting there giving her my private thoughts about Mia — stuff that Uma and I had talked about that’s not on the page — when all of a sudden I felt like I was cheating on Uma. It felt like I was having an illicit affair. ‘How can I talk to another girl about Mia when Uma is Mia?’ And that’s when I knew.”
In the end, it wasn’t any tangible quality that made Tarantino realize that Thurman was right for the part — it was a completely uncontrollable instinct, some subconscious part of his brain, that told him she was the one to bring Mia to life onscreen.