You might think that “Mad Max: Fury Road” will just be a big action spectacular, and well, it will probably will be. But behind the mufflers, pistons, warpaint and weapons, George Miller has also given careful consideration to his characters, and not just his leads Max (Tom Hardy) and Furiosa (Charlize Theron). The plot of the movie finds four captive women (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Courtney Eaton, Zoe Kravitz, and Riley Keough) plotting their escape with the help of Furiosa. Miller was serious about ensuring his actresses had the necessary background to portray their characters, who are victims of rape and abuse, and the director took a rather extraordinary step to help the actresses prepare.
“We were so lucky that George arranged for Eve Ensler, who wrote the ‘Vagina Monologues,’ to fly in and work with us girls for about a week,” Huntington-Whiteley told Esquire. “We did extensive research with her. Eve herself has had a very intense life. She’s spent time in the Congo working with rape victims and women who have had unthinkable things happen to them through the power of men’s hands. We were able to pick her brain for a week. She told us the most tragic stories I’ve ever heard in my life, which gave us so much background to our characters. We really wanted to kind of showcase that. It was a privilege to have her around to make these characters something more then just five beautiful girls.”
And it would seem that process really allowed the rookie actress (this only the second film for Huntington-Whiteley) to dig deep into her role. “Splendid was just so cool to play because she’s so conflicted, so layered. She’s pregnant through rape and she has been held captive her whole life,” she explained. “It was so interesting to think: how would she feel about carrying this child? Does she have these natural maternal instincts that a lot of mothers feel? Is she enjoying being pregnant? Is she having that time of pure love or is she angry? Does she have any regard for this child? What does she feel about that? I think that I never really knew what she was going to feel because I don’t think even she would know. I think it was all very confusing for her. She was conflicted. That’s why a lot of her actions in this film are reckless.”
So, something to think about when Miller melts your eyeballs next weekend. “Mad Max: Fury Road” opens on May 15th. Check out a new featurette below along with B-roll footage from the shoot.