Uma Thurman Speaker & Booking Information

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Uma Thurman performs predominantly in leading roles in a variety of films, ranging from romantic comedies and dramas to science fiction and action thrillers. She is best known for her films released in the 1990s and 2000s, specifically those directed by Quentin Tarantino. Her most popular films include Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Pulp Fiction (1994), Gattaca (1997), and the two Kill Bill movies (2003-04).

Thurman was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Her mother, Nena von Schlebrugg, is half-Swedish and half-German, and was briefly married in 1964 to Timothy Leary after the two were introduced by Salvador Dal". She married Uma's father, Robert Thurman, in 1967.

Robert Thurman, a professor at Columbia University of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies, gave his children a Buddhist upbringing. Uma is named after an Uma Chenpo (in Tibetan; Mahamadhyamaka in Sanskrit, meaning "Great Middle Way"). She has three brothers, also with names originating in Tibet: Ganden (b. 1971), Dechen (b. 1973) and Mipam (b. 1978), and one half-sister named Taya (b. 1960) from her father's previous marriage. She and her siblings also spent extended amounts of time in India as children, and the Dalai Lama would sometimes visit their home.[2]

Since Professor Thurman moved between various universities, the family often relocated when Uma was a child. She grew up mostly in Amherst, Massachusetts and Woodstock, New York. Thurman is described as having been an awkward and introverted young girl who was frequently teased as a child for her large frame, unique angular bone structure, unusual name (sometimes using the name "Uma Karen" instead of her birth-name), and size 11 feet (Thurman's famously large feet would later be lovingly filmed by Quentin Tarantino in the films he made with her). When she was ten years old, a friend's mother suggested she receive a nose job, something that bothered her for years. It was undoubtedly one of the many incidents that led to her bout with body dysmorphic disorder, a mental disorder that involves a disturbed body image, which she discussed in an interview with Talk magazine in 2001.[3]

Thurman attended Northfield Mount Hermon, a college preparatory boarding school in Massachusetts, and received her first acting experiences in school plays. She was unathletic and earned average grades in school, but excelled in acting at a young age. It was after performing in a production of The Crucible that she was noticed by talent scouts, and was persuaded to act professionally. Thurman left her high school to pursue an acting career in New York City and to attend the Professional Children's School, but dropped out before graduating.[2]

Thurman began her career as a fashion model at the age of fifteen, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother who were also former models. Standing six feet tall with a naturally lanky frame, Thurman was a successful model, and would later be featured in a layout in Glamour magazine. In 1989, Thurman appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, for the annual "Hot issue".[4]

Thurman made her movie debut in 1988, appearing in four films in total that year. Her first two were the high school comedy Johnny Be Good and the teen thriller Kiss Daddy Goodnight at the age of seventeen, but both films were only marginally successful and failed to gain her notice. Thurman's next role was in the film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, playing the goddess Venus alongside Oliver Reed's Vulcan. During her entrance Thurman briefly appears nude in an homage to Botticelli's painting The Birth of Venus. With a budget of $46 million USD and box office receipts of only $8 million, the film was a commercial failure, although it has since gained an enthusiastic cult following.[5]

Her fourth role, as Cecile de Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons, was her breakthrough role, which brought Thurman to the attention of the film industry and the general public. Actresses Glenn Close and Michelle Pfeiffer earned Oscar nominations for their performances, and Thurman drew an inordinate amount of attention, much more than a shy, insecure teenager could handle. Her topless scene garnered the lion's share of the attention, and this proved too much for a 19-year-old who thought she was funny-looking. Thurman fled to London for almost a year and wore only loose, baggy clothing during that time.

Soon after the release of Dangerous Liaisons, magazines and other media outlets were eager to profile the actress, and new roles were available for her. Thurman also received praise from her co-stars for her professionalism with the role. Co-star John Malkovich said of her, "There is nothing twitchy teenager-ish about her, I haven't met anyone like her at that age. Her intelligence and poise stand out. But there's something else. She's more than a little haunted".

In 1990, the 19-year-old Thurman starred with Fred Ward in the sexually provocative drama film Henry & June, the first film to receive an NC-17 rating. Due to the film's restrictive rating, it never played in a wide release but would attract more attention to Thurman's career. Critics embraced Thurman in her first leading role, The New York Times wrote, "Thurman, as the Brooklyn-accented June, takes a larger-than-life character and makes her even bigger, though the performance is often as curious as it is commanding".

Thurman's first starring role in a major production was 1993's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (directed by Gus Van Sant), although the film was a misstep for her career. The film was both a critical and financial disappointment, and Thurman was even nominated for a Worst Actress Razzie. The Washington Post described her acting as shallow, writing that, "Thurman's strangely passive characterization doesn't go much deeper than drawling and flexing her prosthetic thumbs".[8] Thurman also starred opposite Robert DeNiro in the crime drama Mad Dog and Glory, another box office disappointment. Later that year, she auditioned for Stanley Kubrick while he was casting a script named Wartime Lies, which was never produced into a film. She described working with him as a "really bad experience".

After Mad Dog and Glory, Thurman auditioned for Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Tarantino originally had no intention of casting her, after seeing her performance in Glory. He ultimately decided to cast her after having dinner with her: "And Uma and I were doing that scene. We were living the movie, all right? I left thinking" God, she could be Mia!"[9] Pulp Fiction would become one of the most successful cult hits of all time when it grossed over $107 million on a budget of only $8 million USD. The Washington Post wrote that Thurman was "serenely unrecognizable in a black wig, [and] is marvelous as a zoned-out gangster's girlfriend". Thurman was also nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar the following year. Entertainment Weekly claimed that, "of the five women nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category this year, only [Thurman] can claim that her performance gave the audience fits". Thurman also became one of Tarantino's favorite actors to cast, whom he described in a 2003 issue of Time: "[Thurman]'s up there with Garbo and Dietrich in goddess territory".

Films of varying quality and success followed Pulp Fiction. She starred opposite Janeane Garofalo in the moderately successful 1996 romantic comedy The Truth About Cats & Dogs as a ditzy blonde supermodel. In 1998, she starred opposite her future husband Ethan Hawke in the dystopian science fiction film Gattaca. Although Gattaca was not a major success at the box office, it drew many positive reviews and became successful on the home video market. Some critics were not as impressed with Thurman, such as the Los Angeles Times which stated she was "as emotionally uninvolved as ever".



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NOPACTalent acts as a Celebrity Speakers Bureau and Athlete Booking agency for corporate functions, appearances, private events and speaking engagements. NOPACTalent does not claim or represent itself as Uma Thurman’s speakers bureau, agent, manager or management company for Uma Thurman or any celebrity on this website. NOPACTalent represents organizations seeking to hire motivational speakers, athletes, celebrities and entertainers for private corporate events, celebrity endorsements, personal appearances, and speaking engagements.

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