It seems like it was just yesterday that many of us in the film commentary community were making our "top films of the decade" lists, and invariably, Mad Max: Fury Road ended up at the top of many lists.
In fact, I was recently thinking of how much I missed going to movies and remembered my first viewing of the film on May 15, 2015. That day, I was furious (Furiosa?) at having to miss the first minute or so of the movie after getting stuck in the concession line at the Cinerama Dome. But I did eventually reach my seat, and it was, of course, a mind-blowing experience.
Today, New York Times writer Kyle Buchanan has just published an enormous oral history of the film just before its 5-year anniversary. It is an amazing, thorough, candid look at the making of the movie, featuring interviews with George Miller, stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, and more.
Credit: Warner Bros.Miller and his team discuss the trouble they had getting the film off the ground after September 11, 2001, and the difficulties they had later in casting.
For instance, Miller told the Times, "I remember we were talking about Charlize even then. Her agent said she wasn’t interested, but I mentioned it to her over a decade later, and she said, 'No one ever told me!'"
Weather in Australia also pushed the film.
"During preproduction, the weather pattern changed in Australia and it rained and rained in Queensland, the sort of weather that happens once in a century," said producer Doug Mitchell.
What about that long hinted-at tension between many of the actors on set? Many people know that Hardy and Theron did not care for each other.
But these interviews provide a picture of the intense, almost piecemeal, style of filmmaking that everyone was undertaking but perhaps not fully understanding, which led to strained relationships.
Credit: Warner Bros.Hardy told the Times, "Because of how much detail we were having to process and how little control one had in each new situation, and how fast the takes were—tiny snippets of story moments were needed to make the final cut work—we moved fast, and it was at times overwhelming. One had to trust that the bigger picture was being held together."
Both actors now say they could have been more understanding of each other.
"And I think because of my own fear, we were putting up walls to protect ourselves instead of saying to each other, 'This is scary for you, and it’s scary for me, too. Let's be nice to each other,'" Theron said.
Hardy added, "What she needed was a better, perhaps more experienced, partner in me. That's something that can’t be faked."
What about the film being behind schedule and over budget, and Warner Bros. almost pulling the plug? That's all in here, too. Read the full piece at the New York Times.
What's next? Check out some of our classic Mad Max coverage
Here's what you can learn from the film's director of photography, John Seale and a look at the cinematography of Mad Max. You can also check out how Mad Max frames its characters. Then reminisce on all the film's below-the-line Oscar wins.
Source: The New York Times