Daryl Hannah

10/17/2003 at 10:45 AM EDT

Daryl Hannah has been a mermaid and an acrobatic android – but never an assassin who dresses like a nurse and wears an eye patch. Until now. The star of such films as Splash and Blade Runner is making life miserable for Uma Thurman (a.k.a. "The Bride") in the bloody, butt-kicking Kill Bill, Vol. 1, the fourth full length feature by director Quentin Tarantino.

Tarantino's movie, a tribute to chop-socky cinema that was so massive in scope that Miramax broke it into two parts (Vol. 2 hits theaters early next year), features Hannah as Elle Driver (a.k.a. California Mountain Snake), a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, which also includes costars Vivica A. Fox and Lucy Liu. While Hannah's role is limited in the first installment, expect plenty more of the actress (and plenty more blood) in Vol. 2. Hannah, 42, recently put down her sword to talk about the role.

So, what's sexy about women fighting?
I don't know. I'm probably not the best person to ask that question to. Maybe you should ask Quentin (Tarantino) – I'm sure he'll have a great answer for that one.

Are you surprised that some people consider women fighting sexy?
Yeah, I guess. I mean, it's the same as two men fighting, really, isn't it? It's just two people fighting. For Quentin, it's definitely got its fetishy aspects.

We don't see you fighting much in this first installment.
We all trained the same, Vivica (Fox), Lucy (Liu) and me ... and Quentin, who is going to be playing Pei Mei, a character you haven't met yet. And we all trained the same. We trained with Master Woo Ping with the kung fu wire-work stuff, and then we trained with Sonny Chiba doing all the samurai sword stuff.

Would you like to continue training?
I wish I could. Right now I'm training for something else, but I'm doing archery so that's a different type of training. But I will probably keep up a certain amount of it. Sonny Chiba wants me to come to Japan and be the blue-eyed samurai, so I'm hoping that I'll get to go do some samurai films with him.

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