In this age of campy remakes and reboots it is a rare thing to see a franchise dusted off after over thirty years and actually being made visually indistinguishable from its predecessors from a thematic and aesthetic point of view. But that is exactly what Mad Max: Fury Road is able to do, and it does so with style, intelligence and the utmost respect for the films that came before it. For those who haven’t had the privilege of enjoying the other installations of the Mad Max franchise, the first film was simply titled Mad Max and starred actor Mel Gibson as a police officer in a world in which society had recently imploded thanks to the Oil Wars.
The highly successful film spawned two sequels, the first was titled Mad Max: Road Warrior, the second starred Gibson and Tina Turner and was titled titled Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, all of which were directed by cinematic legend George Miller. Miller returns to direct Mad Max: Fury Road starring Tom Hardy in the title role, Charlize Theron as the tough-as-nails Imperator Furiosa, as well as Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, and Rosie Huntington-Whitely, among others.
The Shadow League had the chance to sit down and talk with burgeoning star Zoe Kravitz regarding her role as "Toast" in the film, why her resume contains so many science fiction offerings, and more.
Ricardo A. Hazell: With X-Men: First Class, Divergent, After Earth and now Mad Max: Fury Road, you’ve appeared in a career’s worth of science fiction films in a short span. Is this by design or happenstance?
Zoe Kravitz: I am very surprised whenever I get a role in any kind of sci-fi action film. That's definitely not the direction I thought my career was going to go in. I honestly thought I was going to be doing a lot more theater and a lot more independent films. So, I'm not quite sure how this happened, but I'm happy with it. I haven't chosen any films because they were big budget feature films. I think all of the action films that I have done have really been character driven, story driven. I don't think we're sacrificing anything for explosions and big boobs.
RH: Why did you decide to take this role?
ZK: It was kind of a no-brainer, to be honest with you. George Miller is a genius and a legend. Had it been someone else trying to reimagine George's world I might have been more hesitant, but when the original creator of Mad Max asks you to come on board you rise to the occasion. Also, reading the script and working with him during the audition process I was really intrigued. It's interesting because, even though it's an action film, it was solely focused on the character work and the story. We almost did zero physical preparation for the film. It's almost like he had a story in mind and put a bunch of explosions around the idea.
RH: Although Mad Max: Fury Road is set in the Australian outback in a post-apocalyptic world, the film is actually shot in a Namibian desert. What was that experience like for you?
ZK: The whole thing was a challenge, really. Living in Namibia, living in that desert for six months and being away from home was really intense. And it was not about it being sandy and dusty. That was all fine. When you spend that amount of time in that world, and we worked six day weeks, in that car, in that war rig with each other, you really start to go a little mad. No pun intended.
RH: The characters you play are often tough minded and headstrong. How much of that is real and how much of it is acting.
ZK: I think it's a little bit of both. I alter the amount of toughness based on the character but I suppose I do have a relatively feisty personality and I think that seeps through with every character that I play whether I want it to or not.
ZK: I'm really excited about Mad Max because it's actually a feminist film and I think I lot of men are very excited about the idea of Mad Max and all the cars, explosions and all of that, but I think women are going to be really, really surprised and I encourage them to go see it. It's a very female heavy film where you see these females doing bad-ass sh*t.”