It was one o’clock in the morning in Sydney when George Miller received the news that his arduous, 15-year long pilgrimage to the big screen Mad Max: Fury Road was rewarded with 10 Oscar nominations, including one for his wife, Fury Road editor Margaret Sixel.
“Who would have thunk it, eh?,” says Miller with a laugh. “I’m delighted Margaret got the editing nomination. And then we got picture and director. We are pretty atypical so it’s nice they’d invite us to the party.”
Miller, though, was stunned that his directing contemporary Ridley Scott wasn’t joining him for his work on The Martian. “I’m quite taken aback by that,” he said. “I’m a fan of The Martian and I’m a huge fan of his work. He’s made some of the abiding images in cinema — those movies that you never forget where you were when you first saw them. I remember very vividly the night I saw Alien for the first time.”
And though his stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron weren’t nominated for their roles in Fury Road, Miller was heartened that Hardy landed a nomination for his work in The Revenant.
“His nomination is actually doubly significant for me. I got so used to seeing him in the cutting room as Mad Max. It just shows what a great actor he is. I didn’t feel any familiarity watching him in The Revenant. I felt like he was Fitzgerald,” says Miller of Hardy’s character in the Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu film. “It just shows that he’s the guy who’s prepared to take on anything. He’s like a decathlete in the Olympics. He doesn’t just do the 800 meters but he does the broad jump, the high jump and the pole vaulting.”
Miller also wanted to clarify the news story from earlier this week that suggested he was never going to do another Mad Max movie. “All I said was it won’t be the film I do next,” said Miller. “I’d like to do something smaller, quick — before I go back to the wasteland.”
The writer/director added that he’s working on two scripts right now, but in the near term he’s going to be celebrating.
“From here to the Oscars, we party,” he said. “There are quite a few Australians nominated, so we are going to get together and celebrate.”