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SYFY WIRE Mad Max: Furiosa

No license required: Anya Taylor-Joy's first time driving a car was for 'Furiosa' stunt training

The star of Mad Max: Furiosa learned a lot on the set of the new film. 

By Matthew Jackson
Anya Taylor-Joy

Mad Max movies are intense experiences for the audience, but they can often be just as intense for the actors, as director George Miller's commitment to practical stunts and effects makes the shoot a little bit like a living, breathing action movie. Mad Max: Furiosa star Anya-Taylor Joy found that out very quickly when she had to learn some new driving stunts for the film ... despite never being behind the wheel of a car before.

In an appearance on The Graham Norton Show last month to promote her new film The Menu, Taylor-Joy brought along a clip she'd previously posted to social media from the Furiosa set, which features her driving through a bit of stunt practice. In the clip, which you can watch in the video below, Taylor-Joy simply has to drive forward at significant speed, then use her emergency brake to do a 180-degree turn that will land the car precisely between two pylons. It's pretty straightforward, and Taylor-Joy nails it. It would be impressive for any casual driver to pull off, but then Taylor-Joy confessed that before the stunt, she wasn't a driver at all. 

"That's my first time in a car," she said. "So I don't have a license. I can't parallel park, I can't go on the highway, I still don't have one, but I can do that. At some point that will come in handy, I'm assuming."

It's quite a story, and it's especially amusing to hear Taylor-Joy tell it while sitting next to Bruce Springsteen, of all people. It also underscores the kind of wild creative energy we've come to expect from the set of a George Miller film. Taylor-Joy is playing the legendary wasteland warrior Furiosa, after all, a younger version of the character originated by Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road. Of course she'd be getting behind the wheel to pull that off, and of course Miller and crew would teach her to do some cool things with a car. She might never get a driver's license, but now she can at least say she drove a car during the making of a Mad Max movie. 

Mad Max: Furiosa is in theaters May 24, 2024.

Looking for another big sci-fi spectacle? Stream Jordan Peele's NOPE on Peacock right now.