Uma Thurman on inspiring others

Fans and critics alike say actress Uma Thurman is the definition of glamour, brains, beauty and strength. In October 2005, Uma talked candidly about her painful divorce from actor Ethan Hawke and her struggle to move on.

Inspired by Uma's story, many viewers wrote letters of support and thanked the star for revealing the truth about her private life. Jamie from Bloomington, Indiana, wrote, "Hearing Uma speak so openly and vulnerably about her own pain touched my heart and had me smiling through my tears. … Thank you, Uma, for reminding me that I'm not alone in this heartache."

Uma says she's moved by the overwhelming response. "It's deeply gratifying," she says. Is Uma in a better place after the divorce? "I hope so," she says. "It's hard to tell…I'm sure I am."
Uma Thurman on getting back to work

One thing is certain—Uma says that focusing on work is helping her get back on her feet. "Work has been my best friend my whole life, so getting back to work for me is like getting back to my best friend," says Uma. "It's the greatest comfort."

Uma, who stars in a new movie called My Super Ex-Girlfriend opposite Luke Wilson, says she finds her acting to be especially rewarding. "My work relationship has given me back at least as much as I've given it," she says. "It's been the fairest relationship I've ever been in, it's been the most nurturing relationship, the most gallant relationship. It's a wonderful thing to do something you love and get to feel valuable and make it…feel like you can make some contribution that isn't worthless."
Uma Thurman

Uma made a name for herself in Hollywood with roles in independent films and action flicks like Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. In My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Uma tests out her comedic chops as Jenny Johnson, a superhero who uses her powers to get back at an ex-boyfriend, played by Luke Wilson.

"I just love doing comedy," she says. "My first love is drama, but comedy is becoming this passion. … When you're at work and you're, like, 'Oh, I know what I'll do next. I'll bash my head into the refrigerator—that will make it work.' I never had that as a career option before."

After surviving a public breakup, Uma says she needed to laugh again. At the screening of My Super Ex-Girlfriend, she even surprised herself. "I am the most self-critical person," she says. "I usually get extremely uptight, and it's really, really unpleasant for me to watch [my] movie the first time…if I ever watch it. And I was really laughing!"
Uma Thurman

Uma's strength—on and off screen—has inspired many fans. Her character's kick-butt attitude in Kill Bill gave one fan, Maxine, the incredible strength and determination she needed to win her battle against cancer.

While undergoing chemotherapy, Maxine says she knew she needed to come up with something other than traditional meditation to get through treatments. "I thought, 'Wow, I can't think about butterflies and beaches. I've got to fight,'" she says. "I thought, 'Who's my hero? Uma in Kill Bill because she survived beyond all means."

Instead of picturing her cancer cells being "gobbled up" like doctors suggested, Maxine says she imagined Uma kicking cancer's butt. She even named her tumor "Bill."

"Every night I would say, 'Uma, I don't have the strength, but you do. So take your Honshu sword and just keep an eye on 'Bill.'"