One of the many reasons critics and viewers alike have such high praise for George Miller's triumphant Mad Max: Fury Road is the use of practical stunt work to create nearly all of the film's incredible action visuals. The movie's essentially one massive car chase, and Miller poured all of his visual inventiveness into the battle between Immortan Joe and Imperator Furiosa, giving us everything from motorcycles jumping over big rigs to stuntmen on poles swinging down onto vehicles and then swinging back up again.
Though plenty of talented stunt performers played a part in bringing the movie to life, stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron also got in on the stunt action, and in a new interview promoting the film, Theron revealed which of her stunts was the most intense. It's a moment when Max (Hardy) falls from the War Rig and Furiosa (Theron) and Capable (Riley Keough) catch him by the legs just in time, with his head dangling inches from the ground. Turns out Miller really did hang Hardy upside down and close to the ground for the shot, while moving, and Theron and Keough really were holding him up (with the help of a couple of digitally erased wires).
“The one that was for me the most hairy was where Max falls off the rig and Riley’s character and my character kind of grab on to him, and I’m grabbing onto him with this mechanical arm that’s attached to my neck and body," Theron said. "And Tom, his head is that much off the ground and he’s just hanging there, and I’m just like ‘Dude, you’re awesome. If that was me, I would so not be cool with this.' And I also realized, like, if he was gonna go, I was basically gonna go ‘cause this whole thing was gonna drag me with him. That stunt was a little scary for me.”
Thankfully, both Hardy and Theron survived that and all the other stunts, and we got a masterpiece.
To hear Hardy's response to the stunt, and see some behind-the-scenes footage of how it was shot, check out the video below.