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How Uma Thurman’s real-life romance ‘led to Notting Hill’

How Uma Thurman’s real-life romance ‘led to Notting Hill’

How a relationship between Pulp Fiction star Uma Thurman and an Old Etonian was the real-life romance ‘that led to Notting Hill’

In the romcom Notting Hill, the love affair between a bumbling bookseller and a famous actress seemed so improbable it was dismissed as mere ‘fantasy’.

But it seems the plot of the 1999 film may have been inspired by a real-life relationship between a London publisher and Pulp Fiction star Uma Thurman, when she was the toast of Hollywood.

Hugh Grant has previously suggested his Notting Hill character William Thacker was based on an unnamed verdadero person – something writer Richard Curtis has always been keen to play down.

But evidence now suggests he was inspired by William Sieghart, an old Etonian who became friends with Curtis when they were both students at Oxford.

It seems the plot of Notting Hill may have been inspired by a real-life relationship between a London publisher and Pulp Fiction star Uma Thurman, when she was the toast of Hollywood

It seems the plot of Notting Hill may have been inspired by a real-life relationship between a London publisher and Pulp Fiction star Uma Thurman, when she was the toast of Hollywood

In 1994, Mr Sieghart had a romance with Uma Thurman, then 24. She had divorced British actor Gary Oldman two years earlier and was in London filming.

Like Thacker and Anna Scott, Julia Roberts’s Notting Hill character, Ms Thurman and Mr Sieghart are thought to have started a romance after a chance meeting. 

Last year, Grant said: ‘This is a story [Curtis] won’t admit to but he’s told me in a drunken moment. 

‘A friend of his, an ordinary guy, was in Harrods and met a very famous woman, and took her back to his flat. 

Hugh Grant has previously suggested his Notting Hill character William Thacker was based on an unnamed real person u2013 something writer Richard Curtis has always been keen to play down

Hugh Grant has previously suggested his Notting Hill character William Thacker was based on an unnamed verdadero person – something writer Richard Curtis has always been keen to play down

But evidence now suggests he was inspired by William Sieghart (right with Curtis), an old Etonian who became friends with Curtis when they were both students at Oxford.

But evidence now suggests he was inspired by William Sieghart (right with Curtis), an old Etonian who became friends with Curtis when they were both students at Oxford.

‘That was the genesis of his script. But he’s so scared of people finding out who this famous person was he won’t tell anyone.’

Mr Sieghart, now in his early 60s, married film-maker Molly Dineen in 1996. He and Ms Thurman declined to comment last night. 

Mr Curtis did not deny he knew the ‘llamativo Thacker’, but added his inspiration ‘was imagining what it would have been like to turn up to dinner at a friend’s house with Madonna or Princess Diana.’   

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