Uma Thurman is ready to take on new roles — in more ways than one.
“In the last seven years, it’s been ‘Does it shoot in New York?’” said Thurman, clad in a black Givenchy sheath and matching black stilettos before a personal appearance at Lord & Taylor Wednesday night, of how she’s chosen recent acting roles. “So that’s been quite limiting — because it was really important to me, as a single mother especially, to be as stable as possible as a crazy actress.”
Now that daughter Maya is 13 and son Levon is 9, the actress is ready to embrace everything from new film roles to new philanthropies to a celebrity fragrance of her own. “I have lots of ideas,” she said. “That’s the great thing about being a grown woman — thinking of things, although it may be that my children have finally gotten old enough so that my brain is slightly recovered from Mommy-head and is flooded with ideas. I’ve got to do some more serious acting, although I would like to do more comedy, too. I’m always torn. If you look at my résumé, you see an eclectic taste. I enjoy being a jack of all trades — it keeps it interesting.”
Thurman also has several films “in the can,” as she puts it — one, “Bel Ami,” was just purchased by Sony, she said. “I’m reading a lot of material, and working on trying to produce one thing,” she said, declining to give further details. “I take the occasional acting job. There are a couple of projects that I think are important that I’m chasing to get produced. Actress roles are hard to find. If you look at the movies today, what do you see of adult women? Not much.”
As far as directing, Thurman is leery. “I never could imagine directing while I had small children,” she said. “I know what directors go through — it’s 24/7 — and having small children and directing, I couldn’t be a mother. I have not wanted to be away from home that much.”
Would she ever do Uma Thurman-branded fragrance? “I would love to,” she immediately replied. “Yep. It’s something I have in my mind. I’ve been associated with fragrances for about 12 years in one way or another, first with a Lancôme fragrance [Miracle] and then with Ange ou Démon, so I haven’t been able to explore that during that time because I was happily doing other things. But at some point that would be pretty great, I think.”
As to what it would smell like, Thurman declines to elaborate — after all, she’s at Lord & Taylor to promote Givenchy’s Ange ou Démon Le Secret Elixir. “I think I should be polite and not get into that right now,” she said with a smile. “It would be bad manners on my part.”
Nicholas Munafo, U.S. president of LVMH Fragrance Brands, described the response of the crowd of more than 200 as “exhilarating,” while Barbara Zinn-Moore, senior vice president and general merchandise manager, Cosmetics and Home for Lord & Taylor, added, “The scent has been a top seller all week.” Both declined comment on sales revenues, although industry sources estimated that the hour-and-a-half-long personal appearance generated about $20,000 in retail sales.
Philanthropy is also a critical piece of Thurman’s world. “I’m trying to expand my horizons as far as finding more ways to be useful and give back,” she said. One special project, Room to Grow, provides babies born into poverty with their essential needs during their first three years of life. Thurman, who sits on the charity’s board of directors, has been involved since its inception. “I was pregnant with my daughter when it started,” she noted, adding that she is chairing the organization’s Feb. 6 gala. “Even before I had children, I found children’s issues to be very central in my heart, as far as who needs to be protected in this world.”