Home > Culture, Current Events, Family, Parenting, Work > My Call with Uma Thurman

My Call with Uma Thurman

October 14, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Motherhood2I’ve mentioned before that I’m part of a group of NYC-area mom bloggers working with the team promoting Motherhood, a movie coming out in a week or so made by a mom, starring a mom, about a mom. No money exchanging hands (that’s for you, FTC), just access to the cast and director for interviews and some nice link love on the movie Facebook page.

So I’m waiting for the call to start this morning, making chit chat with the dozen or so bloggers on the line and enjoying the not-yet muted sounds of their home lives in the background. I hear cooing babies, barking dogs, toddlers clamoring for “Sesame Street.” My background noises, meanwhile, are those of the work-at-office mom: tooth-rattling jackhammers and sirens shrieking their way down Lexington Avenue.

Uma joins the call. Mute button on. Suddenly I’m having a moment. I AM ON THE PHONE WITH BEATRIX THE BRIDE. Holy Tarantino. The warrior mother, the assassin goddess, the woman who dispatches legions and murmurs, “Those of you lucky enough to still have your lives — take them with you. But leave the limbs you’ve lost. They belong to me now.”


Ooops, I’m first up! I get to read my question myself. In my mind I’m saying, “Beatrix the Bride I love you and want to braid your hair and can I try on your yellow jumpsuit” but here’s what I actually say: “Uma! Hi!” She answers my question and the dozen that follow but Blessed Virgin Mary, this call is a hot mess. It’s all dropped connections, background noise, overlapping conversation…in other words, the absolute personification of motherhood itself. I don’t think a single one of us is sweating this fact because we’re used to chaos. It is our currency, whether we work for a paycheck or not. Moms all do a variation of the same juggling act, after all. Which sometimes sucks and sometimes is beautiful and joyful.

So here are some of my favorite bits from the interview:

Uma was asked where she feels the movie’s authenticity comes from. She said she loves that Eliza’s character is not there to cast the viewer’s attention on someone else – a man or a child. She is the heart of the movie, depicted honestly – with flaws and anger issues, but very much in love with her family.

She’s surprised when other mothers dismiss the topic of motherhood in film (as in “Why watch a movie about my own boring life?”) Uma wonders why we discredit ourselves so much that we’d think raising another human being isn’t worthy of pop culture attention.

My question was about a scene described by director Katherine Dieckmann as her favorite in the film. Eliza and her husband are sitting in a car. Emotional words are exchanged. I asked Uma to describe it and here’s what she said: 

Eliza is digging into the source of her unhappiness, the fact that she’s lost herself in the minutiae of domestic life. She’s worn down by the tiny, grinding repetitive acts that make up her day. She no longer recognizes herself.

I want to see this movie for that scene alone. I predict I’ll hear myself in Eliza’s words, see myself in her frustration. I wonder what will happen for her and if she’ll find peace with the choices she’s made. I wonder too about the women in my life who don’t have creative or professional outlets, who lose a bit of themselves every day. The moms who – like Eliza – pour all their talent and energy into their families at the expense of their own aspirations. They’re the ones who deserve happy endings.

Motherhood is in theaters October 23rd.

Image via.

Check out Eliza’s blog here.

  1. Deb
    October 14, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    You had much more restraint than I did, as I did invoke Beatrix in my question. Though I’m proud that I did manage to resist discussing the yellow jumpsuit, which I don’t want to try on but would like to cradle and pet in prototypical stalker-chick fashion.

    • ssmirnov
      October 15, 2009 at 11:57 am

      All I will say is I can watch the first Kill Bill over…and over…and over again. Hands down Uma at her magnificent finest.

  2. October 15, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I was skeptical when I watched the trailer online but by the time I was done I was surprised how good and real it looked. My favorite bit from the trailer is when someone called her “mam”. That exact thing happened to me on a crosswalk, and I had the same rage! 😀

    • ssmirnov
      October 15, 2009 at 11:56 am

      Definitely felt a little piece of my soul die first time a youngster “ma’amed” me. It was probably a checkout person at the Shop Rite. Worse was the CVS check out lady who asked when my baby was due, to which I dully answered, “He was born a week ago.” How lovely to be a woman…

  3. October 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    This post alone makes me want to go watch the movie. You make it sound delightful.

    No worries girls I get ma’amed all the time. I make a point to correct them. every. time. 🙂

  4. October 27, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I was on that call with you — and your description is full-on accurate. I just took my fourth grader to see Motherhood, a mother-daughter date. (Yeah, I know it’s PG-13…).

    And I hear that you’re off to hang out with Rock n Roll Mama. Have a ball! She took me under her wing at BlogWorld Expo, and the world will never be the same!

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