Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga crew woke up every day ‘knowing they might kill someone’

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga crew woke up every day ‘knowing they might kill someone’

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga amps it up with stunts for its cast, including Anya Taylor-Joy (Picture: Jasin Boland/Warner Bros)

Director George Miler’s brutal, dystopian view of the world presented in his Mad Max prequel Furiosa is stacked with stunts and impressive action sequences – and the filmmaker knew of the very real risk to life and limb.

For the fifth film in the Australian director’s series – launched back in 1979 with Mel Gibson in the title role – it’s Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth leading the cast into the unforgiving Wasteland.

But safety was paramount for Miller and his crew.

‘Every day we all wake up, especially George, with the reality that we could injure somebody or kill somebody,’ admitted producer Doug Mitchell to Metro.co.uk and other titles at the Cannes press conference for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

Emphasising the preparation that went into the long-gestating film, he added: ‘The stunt department isn’t just there, as talented as they all are, to madly do something – this is broken down from the get-go. It has a tremendous amount of infrastructure underneath it.’

Furiosa’s 264-strong crew of stunt men and women battled Covid, bad weather and exhaustion, as well as filming one sequence alone that took 79 days to shoot.

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 ‘Our one priority, led by George, is not to injure anybody. That’s our first responsibility. The second is to make the film really enjoyable,’ said Mitchell.

The film’s 28-year-old leading lady interjected: ‘It doesn’t make any sense how safe this film was!’

Taylor-Joy also praised Furiosa’s ‘absolutely unbelievable stunt department’ and how they helped her fulfil her promise to Miller to perform as many stunts as she could while playing the renegade warrior in her younger years.

‘When George and I first had a conversation, it was very important to him that I was willing to throw myself into it as much as I possibly could.

‘But even if you are throwing yourself into it as much as you possibly can, there’s somebody that has tested that, that has taught you how to do it,’ she explained.

Taylor-Joy praised the set’s safety after promising director George Miller she would ‘throw herself into’ the doing the stunts as much as possible (Picture: Jasin Boland/Warner Bros)

Actors Tom Burke, Chris Hemsworth, director George Miller, actor Anya Taylor-Joy and producer Doug Mitchell as the Furiosa Cannes photocall on Thursday (Picture: Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)

The Northman and Last Night in Soho star also revealed that her stunt double, Hayley Wright, is ‘now one of my best friends in the entire world’ after they met on the set of Furiosa.

She also praised the team for encouraging her when it came to filming the stunt-filled scenes, rather than making the set ‘an environment of aggression’.

‘[Stunt people] are so wonderful and so incredible – and you know what, the best people on set. Easy. Always!,’ the actress added.

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Her co-star Chris Hemsworth is physically transformed for his role as Dementus, a harsh and unpredictable warlord, with a bushy beard, prosthetic nose and dodgy teeth.

Discussing his approach to he character, who is worlds away from his career-making performance as Thor in the Marvel movies, Hemsworth, 40, said he wanted to ‘lean into the absurdity’.

Hemsworth (R) is unrecognisable in his role as Dementus (Picture: Jasin Boland/Warner Bros)

‘We wanted to lean into the polarity of him and have him be contradictory and hopefully surprising.’

Although the actor was attracted by Dementus’ ‘villainous persona’ initially, he explained that it was very important for both himself and Miller ‘to find the humanity in the character, and to sprinkle in moments of vulnerability’.

‘To understand that he, too, was a product of the Wasteland, he too had suffered tremendously and had a traumatic past.’

Taylor-Joy and Hemsworth at the film’s premiere in Cannes on Wednesday night (Picture: Getty)

Miller has also teased the possibility of another Mad Max film in the future, after taking nearly a decade to follow up 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.

‘There are certainly other stories there. Mainly because in order to tell the story of Fury Road, we had to know the backstory of Furiosa and Max in the year before,’ said Miller when asked if he might revisit Mad Max again in the future.

‘That was a tool for the cast and crew. We know the Max story from the year before. I’ll definitely wait to see how this goes, before we even think about it.’

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is out in UK cinemas on Friday, May 24.

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