25 things you didn’t know about your favorite action movies

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark ©Paramount All Rights Reserved
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark ©Paramount All Rights Reserved /
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The Main Force Patrol V-8 Interceptor from “Mad Max: Fury Road” (Photo by Angela Papuga/Getty Images) /

Mad Max – Mel Gibson didn’t plan on auditioning

Don’t worry, the Oscar-winning Mad Max: Fury Road makes an appearance on this list too. But first, let’s take a look at the film that made that one possible: Mad Max.

In a dystopian Australia in the near future, a policeman is seeking vengeance on a violent motorcycle gang who rule the streets. The gang killed Max’s (Mel Gibson) wife and child, so he sets out across the wastelands to track them down and avenge his family’s death.

Mad Max could have been a very different movie. Originally, Gibson didn’t go to an audition for the film to read for a part; he instead went with his sister, who was auditioning. He had been in a bar fight the day before and was swollen and covered in bruises. His dangerous facade intrigued them, and they told him to come back in a few weeks because they needed “freaks,” but when he came back with a perfectly healed face, they didn’t recognize him and asked him to read for a part.

Not only did the star only land in this movie by chance, but the movie itself could have been a different project altogether if they had a bigger budget. Director George Miller said the film wasn’t originally intended to be set in a post-apocalyptic Australia. They did this because they couldn’t afford extras and proper sets. They only added the title card explaining the post-war setting later, which explains why there’s more of an established society than in the sequels.

Since they had such a slim budget, Miller described the experience as “guerrilla filmmaking” due to the lack of filming permits. They would show up to locations, film, and then sweep down the roads when they were done. Sometimes that’s what you have to do in order to get the perfect shot!