If you saw the new Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga film in theaters and also thought to yourself, “Man, they did a great job of casting the child actor playing the younger version of Anya Taylor-Joy’s character Furiosa because she looks almost just like her.” Well, we have some interesting news to share with you.

Alyla Browne plays the younger Furiosa in the film and we actually see her at what is supposed to be a couple of different ages, and while Browne does resemble Taylor-Joy quite a bit indeed, Taylor-Joy has revealed in an interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show that George Miller and the Furiosa team used AI to blend Taylor-Joy’s face with Browne’s own to make the resemblance even more pronounced.

Taylor-Joy goes on to share that AI was also used in Fury Road and her thoughts on the use of AI in film which can be “frightening” when not consensual. Let’s explore.

AI in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

In a film, and with a filmmaker, so highly regarded for its use of practical effects and stunts, it’s a bit odd to hear that Furiosa (and Fury Road even) used AI as part of its process. Of course, though it would make sense that everything you see on the screen wasn’t shot in-camera as that’s incredibly rare and hard to do these days.

Furiosa most certainly used plenty of visual effects and other digital VFX for large parts of its productions. Which, when done as well as in Furiosa and Fury Road, these VFX can very much be an additive part of the filmmaking process when combined with the very real stunts and stunt performers' performances.

Using AI to Mix Actors’ Faces Together

Still, it’s a bit shocking to hear the news that AI was used in both films with Taylor-Joy sharing details about how wild it was to see in the final product.

“George Miller had the idea very early on. The audience was already getting used to a new Furiosa [Charlize Theron in ‘Fury Road’]. He wanted the transition from both actors [Browne and Taylor-Joy] playing her to be seamless. And so I did two days of the craziest things you could ever possibly imagine. And they mixed our faces together.” — Taylor-Joy in an interview on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

The discussion revealed that most of the AI use had to do with Browne’s portrayal of young Furiosa with it being about a “35 percent mix” of Taylor-Joy’s face on Browne’s at one point in the film, then roughly “80%” later when the character is older and about to be replaced with Taylor-Joy on the screen.

\u200bAlyla Browne as the younger Furiosa

Alyla Browne as the younger Furiosa

Warner Bros.

Consent and the Ethics of AI

Taylor-Joy would go on in the interview to acknowledge the many legal and ethical issues that come with the use of AI in film and television, as well as her support for the many AI-adjacent causes which she and her constituents went on strike for in the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes.

However, it’s perhaps most important to note that Taylor-Joy summed up her thoughts by sharing that she does feel that “it is frightening, and I think if you’re going to use it you have to be honest about it and it always has to be consensual. It’s the lack of consent in anything in life that is the scary thing.”

This seems to indicate that the use of AI in blending the actors’ faces together was the predominant use of AI in the film and that everything was agreed to beforehand by all parties (and, again assuming, their representatives).