MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Director and Cast Talk Sequels, Mel Gibson, and More at Cannes

     May 15, 2015


The applause at the end of the Mad Max: Fury Road screening in Cannes was almost as explosive as the chase scene in the movie. The movie, which hits theaters today and opened in French theaters shortly after this screening, deserved to be in competition, some argued.

Fury Road spews midnight oil, diesel and dust, all fast and furious. Shot in the Namibian desert in grueling conditions, Theron later shares an African saying that describes the film’s atmosphere well: “Namibia was the place God created when he was angry.”

Director George Miller, his cast — Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult — his wife and editor Margaret Sixel and producer Jeremy Thomas met an enthusiastic reaction during the traditional press conference following the official screening. Nicolas Hoult was all smiles, but did not talk much – he was busy joking around with Tom Hardy. We found out if there will be more Mad Max movies, whether Mel Gibson saw Fury Road and what the actors think of the final cut.

Here are some (many) of the highlights:


Image via Warner Bros.

On rebooting Mad Max
GEORGE MILLER: “I never wanted to make another Mad Max movie, but the idea kept growing in my head. But I didn’t think it would take 12 years.

On playing Mad Max
TOM HARDY: “Initially, I was really exuberant to land the part. Then I realized the role of Mad Max is synonymous with Mel Gibson. So it was a big quest… The legacy continues to develop, so ultimately Max is created by George and it’s being led by him.”

“The hardest part for me in seven months was to find out what George wanted me to do. There’s no way George could’ve explained what you see.”

On playing Imperator Furiosa
CHARLIZE THERON: “it was incredible to play in his sandbox, literally, and be a woman, to try to celebrate women and be surrounded by women in a real story.”

On the character of Furiosa
MILLER: “It was in the original storyboards. She had to be a woman. There was a backstory. If you saw her, you knew she had gone through a lot. (Turning to Theron) You were a ballet dancer. You know how to work with space.”

NICHOLAS HOULT: “The fight scenes between Tom and Charlize is beautifully choreographed.”

HARDY: “But it would’ve been nice to have a script. That’s a luxury we didn’t have.”


Image via Warner Bros.

On the feminist aspect of Furiosa
MILLER: “Initially, there was never a feminist object. It couldn’t be a man taking the five wives. So we had Furiosa.”

On the message behind the story
THERON: “All of the Mad Max movies felt really grounded. It raises the questions of globalization, global warming… George is the kind of filmmaker who likes to raise the stakes. It’s scary because it’s a world that’s not so far-fetched.”

On the chronology of the Mad Max stories
MILLER: “All the films have no strict chronology. It’s like an episode in Mad Max’s life. Never ever wrote any of the scripts with a chronological order.”

On the chase scene
MILLER: “I really wanted an extended chase… It’s basically one long graphic novel… When you don’t have dialogue and you have bits going like mosaic art, you don’t know where it’s going.”

On the electric guitar player
MILLER: “Guitar player? Well, it’s logical. There’s always the music of war. Before there was modern communication, here was the bugler calling there was a war. Like everything in his movie, it has a dual purpose – it is also a flame thrower.”

On seeing the movie for the first time
HARDY: “I knew he was brilliant but I didn’t know quite how brilliant until I saw that.”

THERON: “Post-production was very long. I remember because when I saw it I had a ponytail! (She has very short hair in the film) You go on with life and kinda forget about it… [When I saw it] I was like a kid in South Africa watching a film.”

HOULT: “It was a real subversive world to be into. The attention to detail was great.”


Image via Warner Bros.

On why Fury Road was not shot in 3D
MILLER: “I love 3D stereo. If I had the choice, I’d do it in 3D, but I know a lot of people can’t tolerate 3D. If you don’t get it right, you can cause pain and nausea.”

On why a woman (Margaret Sixel) cut the movie
MILLER: “Why would you want me to cut an action movie? Because if it had been the usual guys, it would have looked like every other Mad Max movie.”

On Mel Gibson seeing Fury Road
MILLER: “Mel has seen the movie with him next to me at the premiere and Tom right behind us. Mel is someone who can’t lie. He was chuckling during the movie, digging me in the ribs, asking me about the actors because he was about to direct a movie in Australia. I was heartbroken when I saw what was happening to him because I know Mel to be a good man.”

On rebooting the franchise
MILLER: “It’s like a woman who just had a really big baby. I’m just not ready yet. There are a lot of backstories. I can give that a moment. I’ve just given labor.”

Click here for all our previous Mad Max: Fury Road coverage.


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