Uma's New Steps
03/07/2005 at 01:00 AM EST
What's a gal to do after killing Bill? "All I want to do is dance," says Uma Thurman, who has been kicking up her heels in rehearsals to play Swedish secretary Ulla in the film version of the hit Broadway musical The Producers. "She's singing and dancing and flipping off tables," says director Susan Stroman. "She's having the time of her life."
Which she decidedly was not a little over a year ago, as she and Ethan Hawke announced their separation after more than five years of marriage. Yet Thurman, 34, has regained her footing. She's been cheek-to-cheek with her steady beau, hotelier André Balazs, 48, from the beaches of St. Bart's to the front row at Fashion Week. The couple, who began dating in late 2003, have taken their relationship more public lately, linking arms for photographers at the Marc Jacobs fashion show in New York City Feb. 7, as Thurman contentedly rested her head on his shoulder. Still, the couple have no plans to marry, Thurman says—despite queries from everyone including her own family. "My own mother had to ask," she told Elle.
After all, she's still getting accustomed to single life. She and Hawke have started divorce proceedings (see box), leaving Thurman unsure of what to call him, among other issues. "My husband said the other day—I mean, my ex-husband said to me the other day—that I clearly was someone who wanted to be a full-time mother and still wanted to be an actress and that I kept insisting I could do it, but I couldn't," she says. "I don't know; I really try." Juggling her career with being a mom to Maya Ray, 6, and Levon Roan, 3, "is the big conundrum of my life," she says. "I've thought about quitting and I can't, because I love what I do so much."
Especially when she's back boogying with her Pulp Fiction partner John Travolta in the new Get Shorty sequel, Be Cool, a dark comedy about the music business. "It seems so tongue-in-cheek and wonderful to get back together," says Thurman. Since filming Be Cool in L.A., however, "I refused to read a script that didn't shoot in New York City," says Thurman, who chose projects like the Meryl Streep comedy Prime, due this fall, and The Producers—because "I just needed to be home."
That doesn't mean she's playing it safe. She'll sing in The Producers, even though she claims that "I'm a poor, mostly passable singer." Nonsense, says director Stroman: "By the time she finishes this movie, it will look like there's nothing she can't do."
Jason Lynch. Liza Hamm and Courtney Hazlett in New York City and Amy Longsdorf in Los Angeles