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In ‘Ex-Girlfriend,’ Thurman goes to extremes

Her latest film has the ‘Pulp Fiction’ actress playing ‘an uncensorable human being.’
/ Source: The Associated Press

Uma Thurman is known for playing extreme characters.

As Mia Wallace in “Pulp Fiction,” a performance that earned her an Academy Award nomination, she accidentally snorts heroin and ends up with an adrenaline shot in the chest.

In the two “Kill Bill” films she plays a sword-wielding bride hell-bent on revenge.

She’s also been a bisexual hippie hitchhiker, a virginal 18th-century convent girl and the goddess Venus.

In her latest film — “My Super Ex-Girlfriend,” opening Friday — Thurman plays two extremes at once.

She is Jenny Johnson, a neurotic, bumbling brunette capable of falling in love after one mediocre date. But Johnson is also secretly the superhero G-Girl, a blond bombshell who can fly, throw cars and burn through metal with her eyes.

Thurman, 36, talked with The Associated Press about this super role, her lifelong love of acting and which superpower she’d like to have.

AP: Why did this role appeal to you?

Thurman: I love comedy and I’ve been wanting to do comedy forever. This character is just basically an uncensorable human being who just can’t control her responses and reactions and is pretty much just out of control. The idea that someone just doesn’t think before they speak and just blows a gasket at every turn was just immensely fun and interesting for me.

AP: What’s the most difficult thing about playing a superhero?

Thurman: I guess you worry that it’s silly and you’re going to look silly. I worried about that in “Kill Bill” too, like, “I look silly with this sword in my hand.” It couldn’t be further from my personality, of course. When you make a stretch, when you take a leap, there’s always that gasping kind of terror that you’re not going to land on something soft.

AP: What G-Girl power would you really want to have?

Thurman: The flying is pretty appealing. Of course the super sex. It’s so funny in the movie that you have to say to yourself, “Well that would probably be a pretty good one.”

AP: What does the “G” stand for in G-Girl?

Thurman: Gorgeous. G-Spot. Great. Grand. Gregarious. Originally there was another name. She was X-Girl. And there was a problem with that. I personally sat down and went through the alphabet. And G for girl, g for gorgeous, the sexual connotation, every single thing about it seemed, like, very suitable, instead of coming up with a new name like Ladybug Lady or Winged One.

AP: Is G-Girl a role model?

Thurman: Her excessive neuroses and insanity puts a pin in it, you could say. Short of that, absolutely. It’s nice to see (a superhero) who’s just bold and lets it all hang out.

AP: What’s next for you?

Thurman: I’m going to do this wonderful drama called “In Bloom,” and we’re making it soon. It’s very exciting. Evan Rachel Wood is playing me as a younger person, I’m playing her as an older person and we split the movie in half equally.

AP: Are there any more “Kill Bill” movies or Quentin Tarantino projects coming up?

Thurman: Not now. We’re both doing other things. But maybe one day.

AP: You started acting when you were a teenager. How did you know performing was your thing?

Thurman: My grandmother was a stage actress so I guess I heard of it as something that people do. One of the first steps is imagining it possible for yourself. It’s the greatest job in the world, so if you get a taste of it, it’s what you’ll want to do, too.

AP: What is the most surprising thing about celebrity?

Thurman: Hard to say. It’s something I’ve done since I was so young that I don’t really have any perspective on it. I guess fame is a much more complicated thing than people might think it would be. It’s sort of like a secret, like parenting or death or birth or things that change your life in weird and mysterious ways that you wouldn’t anticipate. But I love my job and it gives me so much that I can’t complain about a thing.

AP: What do you do when you’re not working?

Thurman: I’m pretty loosey-goosey. I do whatever I can. I’m one of these overly enthusiastic people who wants to do everything and I have a list longer than my life of the things I wish I could do and had done and want to do.

AP: Are there more comedies in your future?

Thurman: My film I’m doing this fall is a drama, but I would love to do another big funny comedy. I love to make people laugh. It’s the most satisfying thing.

AP: Is “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” a chick flick?

Thurman: Guys love this movie. This movie is written by a man, made by a man. It’s sort of a male fantasy nightmare. So guys are loving the movie. But I throw that shark for every girl in America who ever wanted to throw a shark in her life.