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SYFY WIRE Mad Max: Furiosa

Anya Taylor-Joy on finishing ‘Furiosa’: 'It’s the dirtiest and the bloodiest I have ever been’

George Miller’s Down Under Mad Max prequel is setting up to be a wild post-apocalyptic ride.

By Benjamin Bullard
Anya Taylor-Joy

Billed at the outset of its far-south location shoot last year as “the biggest ever film to be made in Australia,” director George Miller’s hugely-awaited pre-sequel to Mad Max: Fury Road may also end up being the Land Down Under’s wildest, grimiest, and — according to star Anya Taylor-Joy — even its bloodiest.

Heir to the same Imperator Furiosa role played with furious fervor by Charlize Theron in 2015’s Fury Road, Taylor-Joy recently confided to IndieWire that the now-finished shoot for the sequel, which dives deep into Furiosa’s wasteland past, equipped her with a trove of inadvertent knowledge about moviemaking’s down and dirty side.

“It’s the dirtiest and the bloodiest I have ever been, which is saying something, genuinely saying something,” said Taylor-Joy, now one of entertainment’s most in-demand actors after breaking through in Robert Eggers’ 2015 fright film The Witch. “Any time I get to be dirty or bloody and not perfectly prim and pretty, I’m just having a ball, that’s where I feel most comfortable. So yeah, Furiosa was definitely right up my street.”

The street is still a place where the 26-year-old actor, who doesn’t have a driver’s license, can’t legally unleash hell on wheels. But when she finally does ace her driving test, Taylor-Joy can thank Furiosa’s stunt scenes for teaching her the kind of white-knuckled skills no DMV test-prep booklet would ever dare.

“[I]f a driving instructor gets in a car with me, all I know how to do is crazy stunt driving,” she joked. “I’m planning on getting my stunt driver’s certificate…so then I’ll be able to do all of my driving in all films, which would be great. But I fear for the poor man or woman that is taking the test with me, because gentle, I am not.”

What else could you ask of a student whose internal combustion playground knows nothing of yellow lines or any other civilized semblance of orderly traffic control? “I can’t [drive] on a highway, I can’t parallel park, but if you need me to do a juicy 180 in a truck, I can do that and not hit the camera people, which is great,” said Taylor-Joy.

“Eventually, I will be in a place long enough to get a driver’s license and then I’ll be really happy, because then I can play. But in terms of first cars, I think I’m quite spoiled in the fact that they were built by the Mad Max art department.”

Starring Taylor-Joy alongside Tom Burke and native Aussies Chris Hemsworth, Angus Sampson, and strongman Nathan Jones, Furiosa is done with location filming and revving up to flatten the box office when it at last arrives on May 24, 2024.

Looking for some sci-fi fun? The first two seasons of Resident Alien are now streaming on Peacock.