Mad Max Director Reveals What Tom Hardy and Heath Ledger Have in Common With Babe Stars

Back in May, Mad Max: Fury Road had its five-year anniversay, and fans of the franchise learned a lot about its last installment from clashes actors had on set to actors who almost played the roles. One unique thing about the Mad Max films is that all four have been directed by George Miller, which is impressive when you consider the first one was made in 1979. Miller has worked with many actors over the years, but Mel Gibson and Tom Hardy both played the titular role of Max. In a recent interview with Josh Horowitz’s "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, Miller spoke about Gibson and Hardy as well as Heath Ledger. Before Ledger passed away in 2008, Miller had considered him to be the next Max. While speaking with Horowitz, Miller compared the three actors not only to each other but to his days working on the Babe movies.

"Every time [Ledger would] come to Australia, he’d call in and we’d talk and I always had him in mind,” Miller said. “Mel, when I first met him, Heath, when I got to know him, and Tom all have in common the quality of kind of animal magnetism. When I worked on the ‘Babe’ movies with the animals and I got to work with the animals… there is this wonderful thing that happens when you want to pet them and roll around with them but on the other hand, you are very aware of some inner mystery that goes on. They are highly accessible as people — I’m talking about the three guys — and on the other hand, they are a mystery, you’ll never get to know them. That’s one of the essences of charisma and the paradox of that. They all have it."

During the interview, Miller also said he didn't want to talk about his Furiosa film and jinx it.

"It’s too early to talk about it,” Miller explained. “I’ve always had this slight superstition — you don’t want to give hostage to fortune by, basically, talking about a film. I remember talking about ‘Mad Max 1’ just before 9/11 as if it was supposed to happen in a few weeks’ time. It took close to a decade to get made."

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You can watch Miller's full interview with Horowitz in the video above.