David Carradine talks Kill Bill Volume 2

During his recent Seattle stop, I got the chance to meet multi-talented actor, composer, and director David Carradine who was kind enough to talk about the journey that was “Kill Bill”.

GVK: There were rumors of a big fight scene you had that was removed from the picture, what could you tell me about this?

DC: Yeah, it was shot for a scene that was supposed to happen at a high stakes poker game. Quentin wrote the chapel scene that he thought superseded it and he cut it, as he did not think we could have both. The scene was filmed as he did not want to let go of the moment, but it did not really belong in the film. It will be in the DVD, though I am not sure where it will go in, as the one scene I can think of will interfere with the flow. It was decided when the film was cut into two parts to not really show Bill in the first part so it like some other juicy stuff was cut but should make it to DVD which will be the life of the film as you do not expect a Tarantino film on network television.

GVK: Expanding on that, I had heard there was enough footage shot that there could have been a third film.

DC: The original idea was for two 90-minute movies, which ended up with the first film over 90- Minutes and the second over 2 hours and twenty minutes. There was always the plan to shoot extra scenes. For example, I do not have a scene with Daryl Hannah and we wanted to have something that would show how our relationship happened, how she became the number one lady, and why Bill and his brother do not get along. I figured that a woman had to be behind the hatred, and none of that is explained in the original concept. I asked Quentin about more shoots and he said that if he could not make two films from all of the footage he shot, then he did not deserve to. We shot about 1.2 million feet of film, which has to be close to a record.

GVK: Bill seems to become more of a presence as the film goes own, how did the character evolve over shooting?

DC: With the original plan to do one film, it was intended to keep Bill out of it for a while and build up the image that he was this evil and monstrous guy that you actually like when you meet him as he is charming, so they kept him a mystery in part one giving you two different films as the first is pure action and the second is more of a rambling narrative as Quentin was writing up until the very end.

GVK: How much input did you have into the character?

DC: A lot as Quentin wrote it for me as he had read my autobiography and he collects 16 MM prints of “Kung Fu” and “Shane” so in many ways he was basing the character on me before he even contacted me about it.

GVK: The monologue about the Goldfish and Superman is very interesting as it shows the complexity of Bill, how did this come about?

DC: In Beijing, Quentin and I sat in a cigar lounge and talked about comic heroes and before long, there was a re-write and it was in the film. It is an interesting scene as here is Bill having this oddly inappropriate conversation in front of this little girl and being all sweet and kind, yet he has this big knife in his hand and it makes you realize how dangerous he is as you are not sure what he is going to do next. There is a bit where Uma comes out after watching the video with the kid, and I take a fast draw at her and try to get her downstairs. The notion that Bill loves her yet he knows she is there to kill him and that he has to take his shot when he sees it. There was also a line that was removed about not forgetting all of her training. Even though those scenes are gone, the feeling of what is coming next is always there with Bill.