The 2015 film, which was co-written, co-produced and directed by George Miller, starred the likes of Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult.
A new book by writer Kyle Buchanan about the film, Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, has now lifted the lid on how Miller and casting director Ronna Kress auditioned an array of talent for the film.
“The whole process of casting Max took close to a year,” Kress says in the book, an extract of which has now been published on Vulture. “We were talking about every actor in the world, essentially, and having very in-depth conversations about the benefits of someone famous or someone unknown in the role of Mad Max.”
While casting the five wives that Furiosa escapes with in her War Rig, Miller set up a meeting with Rihanna.
“Usually, actors turn up dressed very casually, but boy, Rihanna looked spectacular when she walked in,” Miller is quoted as saying.
“I’m not sure she was even aware of the content of the movie, so she dressed up as Rihanna, which was the right thing to do.”
Storyboard artist Mark Sexton also recalled how Miller was interested in Eminem playing the titular character.
“This is something I don’t hear about very much and that George never admits, but I have a very, very, very strong memory of George talking about Eminem for Max,” he said.
Miller said: “[Eminem had] done 8 Mile, and I found that really interesting — I thought, He’s got that quality. We’d done the first Happy Feet with the late Brittany Murphy, and she had done 8 Mile, so I asked her what he was like and would this be something really interesting for him? She had no reservations about saying what a wonderful talent he is.”
After Sexton did “a bunch of cut-and-pastes to put blond hair on Max”, Miller said that he then got in touch with Eminem.
“Though that’s as far as it went because we were going to shoot it in Australia at that point, and he simply didn’t want to leave home,” the director recalled. “I think he had the impression that if he could do it out of his home state, then he’d be up for it.”
Sexton added: “I’m kind of glad it didn’t happen. Eminem, really? Whole different bent there. And the feminist story behind Mad Max: Fury Road might have taken a bit of a hammering if he’d played the role.”
The Detroit rapper is bringing a pop-up of his ‘Mom’s Spaghetti’ restaurant to LA this weekend to coincide with the Super Bowl.