One of the biggest surprises of the summer movie season was the revelation that the wildly anticipated Mad Max reboot, which featured Tom Hardy extremely prominently as the new post-apocalyptic hero in the bonkers trailers, actually belonged to another character â€” a woman. At Cannes, where the film premiered, Hardy dismissed the publicâ€™s expectation that Mad Max â€œwas supposed to be a manâ€™s movieâ€: â€œNo,â€ he scoffed. â€œNot for one minute. Itâ€™s kind of obvious.â€
Charlize Theronâ€™s Imperator Furiosa was a gritty and ruthless action star, the heir to Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamiltonâ€™s cinematic alpha females, and her quest for revenge against the draconian Immortan Joe drove the narrative of Mad Max: Fury Road. Her prominence in the film is hardly subversive, but it was a slight twist that director George Miller certainly enjoyed. â€œWhen I met with George, I believed him when he said to me, â€˜I want to create a female character that can stand next to Max,â€™â€ says Theron, in one of the filmâ€™s Blu-ray extras. â€œHe was so excited about creating an anti-heroic woman, who was really driven by these very, very pure human flaws.â€
Fury Road, which is already available as a digital download and arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 1, was the rare summer blockbuster to charm the critics, grossing more than $152 million and generating ripples of Oscar buzz in the process. In a year not lacking for standout female performances, Theronâ€™s Furiosa might not make the final shortlist like Weaver did for Aliens in 1987. But her work deserves a close look, one that she and collaborators discuss extensively in these two special featurettes.
You can also watch 2 additional videos here on USA Today.
Q: Are you attracted to particular dark stories like this, and angry troubled women?
Gillian (Flynn, author) and I were talking about it this morning. Itâ€™s really interesting when you write and get to play a woman that is layered and conflicted and has certain human attributes that might not be that attractive, which is part of the human condition. I think because we havenâ€™t seen enough of it in cinema, it kind of sticks out like a sore thumb, and people comment on it the way you just did. What we were talking about is at the end of the day theyâ€™re really compartmentalized characteristics. They really are just part of a full human being, especially a woman. Itâ€™s only I feel like in the last decade since cinema in the â€™70s, that weâ€™ve seen women who are if not more conflicted than men kind of resurface and people are talking about it because there has been such a lack of it. So I canâ€™t say that Iâ€™m attracted to angry, dark people. I think what Iâ€™m attracted to is characters to me that feel very truthful to the embodiment of a full woman. I think itâ€™s just refreshing to kind of see women like Gillian write women like that and to have been given the opportunity to get to play those women in the last ten years. It feels authentic and real, thatâ€™s all I can say.
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