Wired this weekend had a pretty great profile of Mad Max: Fury Road stunt coordinator Guy Norris (names don’t get much more Australian than “Guy Norris”) who got his start as a 21-year-old stuntman on Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, his first film gig, which was released in December 1981. And at 54, performed what he says will be his final driving stunt on Fury Road.
Key Australian quote:
“Those days, we thought you could eat four-inch nails for breakfast and wipe our bum with sandpaper,” he says. “We thought we were bulletproof.”
Along with descriptions of Norris’s career and some of his stunts on Fury Road, Wired includes a featurette shot during the making of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (which was just called “The Road Warrior” in the US, where hardly anyone had seen the micro-budget Ozploitation flick Mad Max), which is an absolute classic. I think my favorite part comes early in the clip, when the booming-voiced announcer describes Mad Max 2 as “the most expensive Australian film ever made,” and then the video immediately cuts to this:
“Oi, fackin oath, maite, this cunt’s gonna be a real to do. See that soygn? Spelled roight and everything. Gawt us a fackin’ college boy in the office we do. Oi, Robbo! Show these cunts how ya wuhk the zeeerox machine, ‘ey.”
After that, stay tuned until about the 2:25 mark for footage of how they filmed the bike-crash “stunt,” which involves… uh… driving a motorcycle FULL SPEED into an overturned dune buggy, with the rider (Norris) then flying end over end into a pile of empty cardboard boxes.
Only, instead of flying over the wreckage like Superman, Norris’s knee clipped the top of the buggy and he whirligigged like a marionette shot from a catapult. Despite the boxes, he says. “I broke my femur.” (Still, Norris limped to the set a couple days later and shot his final fight with Mel Gibson, propping his broken leg on a box just outside of the camera’s frame.)
“Oi, Guy. Mate, shouldn’t you just droive slow and then we kin speed up the taipe?”
“Nah, mate, she’ll be roight. They didn’t pay me two thousand dollahs fa poof stunts.”
(*motorcycle rev, horrible crash, Guy’s leg bent into a pretzel*)
“Ah fack, think I broke me leg.”
“Should we call a doctah?”
“Nah, she’ll be roight, just tape a snaike to it.”
And it was all okay, because director George Miller “has trained as a doctor.” For more stunt fun, check out this piece on how they filmed the giant set piece in Fury Road, and some wild B-roll here. Of course, those won’t have the charm of having been shot in Australia in the eighties like this. Oh, here’s the ambulance, by the way: