14 Behind-The-Scenes Facts You Didn’t Know About Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

The new origins story starring Anya Taylor-Joy was quite a feat to pull off.
Dave Benett via Getty Images

Are you ready to venture back into the high-octane world of Mad Max?

Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth star in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, George Miller’s brand new origin story in which The Queen’s Gambit actor takes on the role Charlize Theron first portrayed in the Oscar-winning Fury Road.

If the film has left you marvelling at the post-apocalyptic wastelands, spectacular action sequences and sheer scale of the highly anticipated blockbuster, it’ll come as no surprise that it took a helluva lot of behind-the-scenes muscle to bring the film to life.

Here are 14 facts you might not know about the new movie…

It was almost an anime movie

At one point Furiosia was envisioned as an anime film titled The Peach, set to be directed by Mahiro Maeda, who previously worked at the iconic Studio Ghibli.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone director George Miller spoke about how the finished script was pretty close to the original material he wrote even before Fury Road. “I’d say about 80-percent of it was there in that first version, because we were going to be doing it as an extended anime movie.”

It’s inspired by a classic gangster film

Director George is famously versatile – having produced Babe and directed Happy Feet in the past – but his latest film was actually inspired by The Godfather: Part II, which he described to Rolling Stone as “one my my favourite movies” and “maybe my absolute favourite”.

He continued: “I’ve been telling people this for a while now, but it only just occurs to me now that it was very much an influence on this film. A big influence.”

The director added: “I’m not saying they’re the same films, by any means! But it goes back to the childhood and earlier days of Don Corleone, and gives you a chance to see how he turns into the character that you already know.”

Anya Taylor-Joy learned to drive on the set of the film

You don’t get a Mad Max film without some absolutely jaw-dropping motor sequences. That’s why movie fans will be shocked to know that Anya Taylor-Joy had never even driven a car in her life before in the film.

Speaking on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the actor revealed that the first thing she learned to do in a car was a stunt called the Juice-E-Lift 180. She still doesn’t have her licence, but insisted she definitely plans to get it now the film is finished.

It shares a filming locations with another famous Mad Max movie

George Miller made four films in the Mad Max universe prior to Furiosa – Mad Max (1979), Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – so it’s no surprise that he’s pretty familiar with the best filming locations down under by now.

In fact, one of the filming locations was shot just outside of Sydney, the same spot they

filmed Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome with Tina Turner 40 years ago, as revealed by Chris Hemsworth’s trainer Luke Zocchi.

One scene took 78 days to film

It’s no secret that a Mad Max film is a pretty intense shooting process. In an interview with Collider, Anya Taylor-Joy spoke about the particularly demanding “stowaway sequence”.

“We shot that for 78 days, and so, day 35 you’re like, “Where am I?” she shared. “Like, I remember, as a circled day, it was the day that I finally got to get behind the cowcatcher and I could stop being under the truck or on the side of the truck. I was like, “I’ve made it to standing. Yes!”

Anya Taylor-Joy actually got the part after delivering a very unlikely monologue

When Anya auditioned for the role via tape, director George had let her choose from three monologues. One of those was Peter Finch’s famous “I’m mad as hell” speech from 1976’s Network, in which a news anchor breaks down live on air.
According to an interview with Time, that alone showed director George that she could pull off the intensity the role demanded.

One script detail had a very, very unlikely connection to the Covid clap for the NHS

In what has got to be the wildest source of inspiration for an actor ever, Anya Taylor-Joy revealed in an interview with the Associated Press that one aspect of the film had an unlikely connection with the weekly clap for the NHS during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

She recalled getting the Furiosa job in the middle of Covid, explaining “this wonderful thing” every Thursday where you would “stick your head out of a window and scream and make noise for the NHS to say thank you”.

She continued: “So in that section in the script where it says, ‘I want you to stick your heads out’, I was like, well, I’ve been doing it. I have practice.”

The film really changed Anya Taylor-Joy as a person

While the actor has played some fascinating female characters over the years, Furiosa was the first one that really allowed Anya to feel female range.

Speaking to British GQ as part of its Heroes Issue, the Queen’s Gambit actor shared shared how getting into character helped tap into her own “female rage”

“For all my championing of female rage, I’ve never been an angry person,” she explained. “For a long time the only time I ever got angry was on other people’s behalfs. I’ve always internalised this thing of ‘I’ve done something wrong. If you treat me badly, it’s because I am the problem’.”

She continued: “I’m so grateful for Furiosa, because there was a real moment where I started getting angry for myself.

“My husband was like ‘I’ve never heard you be like this.’ I was like, ‘I’m glad! I’m glad that I’m angry!’ If someone steps on me now, I’m like, ‘Hey, fuck you!’ That makes me feel good.”

But shooting the film wasn’t always easy

While Anya has been candid about her wholehearted commitment to what she knew would be a gruelling role, she has alluded to some difficulties on the set.

In an interview with The New York Times, the star told the outlet that when production wrapped in 2022, she “knew I was going to need the two years that it took for the movie to come out to deal with it”.

“I’ve never been more alone than making that movie,” she said, with the New York Times noting that the actor was “choosing her words carefully”.

“I don’t want to go too deep into it, but everything that I thought was going to be easy was hard,” she said.

Anya also skipped a question about the difficulties she experienced on set, instead telling the Times after an extended silence, “next question, sorry”. She added: “Talk to me in 20 years,” Anya added. “Talk to me in 20 years.”

One specific direction from George “intimidated” her

In an interview with Associated Press, Anya explained that one bit of direction that was particularly “intimidating” was how director George wanted her to emote with her face.

“That really only left me my eyes for a lot of the movie, and I had to just trust George,” she explained. “And I feel like if you’re ever going to do a leap of faith in such a way like that, there’s no one better to do it than with George Miller and in a Mad Mad movie.”

Not too long ago, she hadn’t even watched the final cut of the film

In an interview with Variety earlier month, she opened up about having trouble watching the film. “Within the first three minutes, I’m crying,” she said. “And afterward, I cannot speak. I found it very traumatising to watch.”

Chris Hemsworth wanted an audition for Fury Road, but never heard back

Before Chris Hemsworth was a Marvel star and Hollywood A-lister, he desperately wanted an audition to play Mad Max in Fury Road, but never heard back.

According to IndieWire, he had recently parted ways with Aussie soap Home and Away but he “couldn’t even get a call or a meeting or anything” about playing Mad Max, a role which ultimately went to Tom Hardy.

He “couldn’t even get a call or a meeting or anything”, adding: “I just hadn’t done enough to warrant that.”

But he did request a meeting with George as soon as he saw Mad Max

The Thor actor did have more luck connecting with George after Mad Max film came out. He watched the film in 2015 while he was shooting an Avengers film, before asking his agent to get him a meeting with George Miller, who met him as a courtesy before realising he was right for the role.

“What surprised me was the depth of his insight about work, the world at large, himself, and it came effortlessly out of the conversation,” he told Vanity Fair. “I had this sense that there was a way more complex, considered person than I’d ever imagined meeting.”

George Miller hired ex-convicts on the film

Speaking at an in person Comic-Con event (via Screen Daily), Chris Hemsworth shared “a lot of the actors in the film were ex-criminals”, adding: “One was a Hells Angel biker; people from very colourful, interesting, complicated lives.”

Elaborating in his Vanity Fair cover story, Chris explained that the former inmates had joined a theatre group while in prison, and went on to play members of Dementus’s horde. “It was a wonderfully eclectic group of personalities, and I became really close with my little gang,” he said. He even invited all of them to spend the weekend at his house in Byron Bay during filming.


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