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Why Uma Thurman Doesn't Get Many Movie Offers Anymore

Once upon a time, Uma Thurman was Hollywood's hottest starlet. After Pulp Fiction wowed critics and audiences alike in 1994, Thurman seemed destined for box office greatness, but that fiercely shining star has dimmed somewhat in more recent years. Let's take a look at why she doesn't get many movie offers anymore.

Riding the Tarantino train

Name two Uma Thurman movies. Chances are, the first ones that came to mind were Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, both written and directed by Quentin Tarantino (well, three, since Kill Bill is technically two movies). Although she had over a dozen credits before Pulp Fiction, Tarantino's cult classic was arguably the film that shot Thurman to stardom, and after its success, she split her time between shooting for Oscar nods (1998's Les Miserables and 2005's The Producers) and pandering to wider audiences with forgettable flicks like 1996's The Truth About Cats and Dogs and 2000's The Golden Bowl.

Just when her career seemed sure to nosedive into oblivion, Uma Thurman teamed up with Tarantino again for Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2, released in 2003 and 2004, respectively. As with Pulp Fiction, the movies triggered a surge in Thurman's star status...and as with Pulp Fiction, that fame faded fairly quickly. Is Thurman's career entirely dependent on Tarantino? It's a responsibility he seems ready and willing to assume. According to David Carradine, who played Bill in Kill Bill, Tarantino said of Thurman, "I want to be directing her for the rest of my life."

Baby daddy blues

Thurman fended off hordes of sword-swinging gangsters in Kill Bill, but in real life she had to deal with something much worse: a child custody battle. According to TMZ, Thurman's ex Arpad Busson, the father of her youngest child, Luna, dropped an ultimatum on her in 2016, threatening that if she films a movie, she won't be able to see Luna anymore. If there's ever been a reason to turn down a movie role, that's gotta be it...even if the motivation is totally messed up. Earlier in 2016, TMZ also reported that Busson had filed a request with the court to get more custody of their daughter. With all that time in front of a judge, it's no wonder Thurman doesn't have many chances to get in front of a camera.

Charity work

For years, Uma Thurman has been an outspoken member of a range of charities. Not only is she a board member for Room to Grow, a charity tasked with helping children born into poverty, she's also done advertising work as a spokesperson for USAID, an organization focused on helping those affected by war, famine, and drought in the Horn of Africa. Early 2016 also saw the actress putting in face time at an AIDS charity event in Hong Kong. With all this humanitarian work, who has time to crank out blockbusters?

Racking up the Razzies

Throughout her career, Thurman has been nominated for no less than three Golden Rasberries. The first came after 1993's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, a Gus Van Sant adaptation of a novel by the same name. The Washington Post wrote that Uma Thurman's "strangely passive characterization doesn't go much deeper than drawling and flexing her prosthetic thumbs." Her next two Razzie nominations came back to back for her roles in 1997's Batman & Robin, in which she played Poison Ivy, and 1998's The Avengers. Thurman has bounced back a little since those flops, but they haven't exactly been forgotten. Considering the amount of time she's been a household name, she really doesn't have many noteworthy roles under her belt.

Box office bust

Razzies are one thing, but they don't necessarily mean a whole lot. What it really comes down to is box office draw, and Uma Thurman just doesn't bring the gravy. Her filmography boasts a handful of films that grossed roughly $100 million or more during their theatrical runs, but for the most part, her Hollywood history is one of underwhelming financial returns. While it's true that a number of her movies have been lower-budget efforts that weren't aiming for blockbuster status, she's also been in a number of high-profile duds, including Gattaca, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and The Avengers.

Astronomic asking price

Despite her spotty film record, the Kill Bill series shot Uma Thurman's per-film asking price up to a hefty $12.5 million, according to W Magazine. That's a lot of cash to gamble on an actress that rarely draws a crowd, and few studios have been willing to take the bait. Be Cool, Thurman's next film after Kill Bill wrapped, made less than half its $53 million budget on opening weekend, and barely broke even on overall domestic sales. The same year, 2005, The Producers bombed spectacularly with a $154,000 opening weekend, and it only went on to make back $32.9 million of its $45 million budget. That's bound to make a production company think twice about footing the bill for Thurman's services.

Lawsuit lottery

Hey, maybe Thurman just doesn't need the money. She's certainly pulling in plenty from the court system. In 2010, she settled a $10 million lawsuit against British production company HandMade Films, the company behind British classics like Monty Python's The Life of Brian and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. According to Deadline, Thurman signed a contract to receive £2.8 million for the as-yet unreleased film Eloise. When the production was delayed and Thurman wasn't paid, she sued for her original fee plus expenses lost waiting for production on the film to start. Between that and her millionaire ex, it's possible she just doesn't feel the need to act in every movie that comes her way just to get another paycheck—good news for anyone who suffered through her work opposite Ben Affleck in the infamous 2003 dud Paycheck.

Broken bones

In June 2016, BBC reported that Thurman had been thrown off a horse in the Caribbean and "broke a few bones." While the website didn't go into many details about what happened during the riding accident, it's definitely possible that her light 2016 filming schedule was partially due to her recovery from the injury. Whether it came down to casts or casting calls, Thurman didn't appear in any 2016 films, and her only IMDb credit— for The Brits Are Coming—ended the year in post-production.

Just being a mom

Ignoring all the lawsuits and celebrity gossip, Thurman is still a single mom to three young children, and anyone who's ever been in that situation knows that, millionaire or not, it takes a lot of work to raise kids on your own. Even though her first kid with ex-husband Ethan Hawke is now 17, she's got a 14-year-old boy and a four-year-old daughter, and by her own account, it's been hectic. She told The Times in 2009, "My big wish now is to make a little time for myself. I think many women, working women, get this. I mean, how do you justify that hour and a half to yourself? When you have this to do and that to do and you want to be there..."

This very private woman has a lot going on behind the scenes that even the tabloids don't pick up on. So who knows? There's still time for a resurgence in Uma Thurman's career. And if Quentin Tarantino ever makes Kill Bill 3, maybe one more ride on the Tarantino train will be just what she needs to kickstart her film fortunes one last time.