Why Pulp Fiction Dance Scene With John Travolta Made Uma Thurman Afraid

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When working with Quentin Tarantino for the first time on “Pulp Fiction,” nothing was more terrifying for Uma Thurman than dancing opposite John Travolta.

Uma Thurman played the memorable character of Mia Wallace in Pulp FictionUma Thurman played the memorable character of Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction

She was only 24 years old when she starred as Mia Wallace, the wife of gang boss Marsellus Wallace (played by Ving Rhames). All in one night, she seamlessly dances the twist, overdoses on heroin and takes a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart.

Mia Wallace dancing with Vince at the Jack Rabbit Slims restaurantMia Wallace dancing with Vince at the Jack Rabbit Slims restaurant

In what has become one of Tarantino’s most iconic scenes of all time, Mia Wallace and hitman Vincent Vega get up on stage at the fictional Jack Rabbit Slims restaurant and perform the twist during a dance competition.

Samuel L. Jackson (as Jules Winnfield), John Travolta (as Vincent Vega), Bruce Willis (as Butch Coolidge), Uma Thurman (seated, as Mia Wallace) in Pulp Fiction (1994)Samuel L. Jackson (as Jules Winnfield), John Travolta (as Vincent Vega), Bruce Willis (as Butch Coolidge), Uma Thurman (seated, as Mia Wallace) in Pulp Fiction (1994)

“I was more afraid of the dancing than almost anything because it was exactly to my total insecurity,” Thurman said during a keynote speech at France’s Series Mania Festival.

“Being big and awkward and still quite young then. But once I started dancing I didn’t wanna stop, so it was a dream come true.”

John Travolta and Uma Thurman also starred as Chili Palmer and Edie Athens in the film comedy Be CoolJohn Travolta and Uma Thurman also starred as Chili Palmer and Edie Athens in the film comedy Be Cool

According to Vanity Fair, Thurman was nervous about the dance number because she “was so awkward and embarrassed and shy.”

“Quentin [Tarantino] recommended the Twist. And I said, ‘Well, Little Johnny Travolta won the Twist contest when I was eight years old, so I know every version,” John Travolta said and promised to teach his co-star Uma.

“I said, ‘There was the Batman, the Hitchhiker, the Swim, as well as the Twist.’ And I showed them to him, and he loved them. I said, ‘I’ll teach Uma [Thurman] the steps, and when you want to see a different step, call it out,’” he recalled.

Uma Thurman at the 2020 National Board Of Review GalaUma Thurman at the 2020 National Board Of Review Gala in New York City on January 8, 2020

In September 2015, Uma Thurman attended the 2015 Couture Council Luncheon honoring Manolo Blahnik held at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City.

She took to the stage to present the Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion to the Spanish designer for his longstanding dedication to craftsmanship and innovative design.

Uma Thurman attends the 2015 Couture Council Awards Luncheon honoring Manolo BlahnikUma Thurman attends the 2015 Couture Council Awards Luncheon honoring Manolo Blahnik held at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City on September 9, 2015

The then 45-year-old actress went for a classic look, accentuating her slender frame in a simple black dress with three-quarter sleeves and a hem that fell just a little below her knees.

Uma Thurman wears a simple black dress as she poses against a green backdropUma Thurman wears a simple black dress as she poses against a green backdrop

She kept everything else simple by pairing the dress with black Manolo Blahnik sandals. The American actress/model pulled her hair back into a wispy ponytail and wore barely-there makeup.

Uma Thurman shows off her unpolished toes in a pair of Manolo Blahnik heelsUma Thurman shows off her unpolished toes in a pair of Manolo Blahnik heels

Uma’s Manolo Blahnik heels added luxe to her classy minimalist look. They are made of black satin and feature unique ankle straps made of pearls with rhinestone details and lobster clasp closures, thin toe bands, and about 3.5 inch covered heels.

These Manolo Blahnik sandals can be purchased at Farfetch and Nordstrom.

Manolo Blahnik Chaos Pearly Ankle-Wrap Sandals, $865

Manolo Blahnik Pearl Ankle-Strap Sandals

Manolo Blahnik Chaos Pearly Ankle-Wrap Sandals

Manolo Blahnik Chaos Pearly Ankle-Wrap Sandals

Credit: Jeff Grossman / WENN / Cover

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