While “Mad Max: Fury Road” rightfully deserves the praise it has received for its hair-raising practical effects, things are a lot safer now than they were a few decades ago when George Miller was laying out the first couple of movies in his blockbuster series. And not much further evidence is needed than this pretty wild, old school featurette for “The Road Warrior.”
Wired has dug up this particular nugget, and for a movie that was at the time the most expensive Australian movie ever made, clearly the PR team didn’t sugarcoat anything, and even smirked at some of the things that would never pass union guidelines today. Fast forward to the 2:25 mark to see stuntman Guy Norris fly through the air and break his goddamn femur. And as the voiceover wryly notes, had things gone according to plan, Norris would’ve landed safely on a pile of cardboard.
But that’s not to say ‘Fury Road’ didn’t put the actors through their paces. In a featurette from Yahoo, Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron both agree on what the most worrisome stunt was on the movie—Max hanging outside of a moving war rig. “[Tom’s] head is [inches] off the ground, and he’s just hanging there,” Theron said. “I’m like, ‘Dude, you are awesome. If that was me, I would so not be cool with this.’ And if he was gonna go, I was gonna go with him. That stunt was scary for me.”
“George [Miller] said to [Hardy’s son Louis], ‘Don’t worry, your daddy’s being held upside down by a couple of wires, Louie. They can hold a grand piano.’” Hardy shared. “And he said, ‘But what if they snap?’ ‘Well, Louie, I suppose he’d go under the wheels.’ And that was that.” Indeed.
Check out both featurettes below and if you haven’t seen “Mad Max: Fury Road,” what are you waiting for?