Mad Max Filled With Stars In Multiple Roles

By Michileen Martin | Updated

You see plenty of stars popping up in different roles in certain long-running franchises like Star Trek and Law & Order. But in spite of not having a TV component like those other series, Mad Max recycles its actors quite a bit, and usually in much more prominent roles.

Hugh Keays-Byrne: Toecutter And Immortan Joe

mad max actors

When George Miller cast Hugh Keays-Byrne in 1979’s Mad Max, he made a lifelong friend. Keays-Byrne plays the ruthless Toecutter–leader of the biker gang who murders Max’s family–in the first film. While Toecutter dies by the end of the movie, Keays-Byrne returned to play the chief villain of 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road.

The terrifying mask that covers Immortan Joe’s face helps hide the identity of one of the first Mad Max actors.

Miller was reportedly so impressed with Keays-Byrne in the first Max film that over the years he repeatedly tried to get him cast in most of his future work. Miller tried and failed to get him a voice role in 1998’s Babe: Pig in the City, and cast Keays-Byrne as the Martian Manhunter in his scrapped Justice League movie.

Max Fairchild: Benno And Broken Victim

Of all the Mad Max actors, only two would return for The Road WarriorMel Gibson as the lead, and Max Fairchild. In the first film, Fairchild plays Benno, a farmhand working on the land of the elderly May Swaisey.

In spite of the relatively high body count of the second Mad Max film, Fairchild is one of the first actors whose character is murdered by the villain Humungus. In the latter film he plays one of the people from the refinery–credited simply as “Broken Victim”–who is sent out to scout, and comes back strapped to the front of Humungus’ vehicle as a prisoner.

Bruce Spence: The Gyro Captain And Jedediah

mad max actors

When it came to Bruce Spence, George Miller made an interesting choice. In spite of the Australian actor being blessed with a memorable face–and in spite of neither of his characters hiding their faces with prosthetics or masks–Miller cast Spence as two completely different but incredibly similar characters in two separate films.

The choice has some fans still believing Spence plays the same character in both movies, in spite of Miller’s insistence to the contrary.

Spence joined the cast of 1981’s Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior actors as the Gyro Captain, and he appears in the 1986 follow-up Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome as Jedediah.

Both characters are pilots, both characters are thieves who either try to steal from Max or succeed, and both eventually become Max’s ally.

Josh Helman: Slit And Scrotus

One of the few War Boys we get to know at all in Mad Max: Fury Road is Slit–a guy with a facial scar similar to Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker. He starts off as a brother-in-arms with Nicholas Hoult’s Nux. Unlike Nux, Slit stays loyal to Immortan Joe until his fiery end.

Helman is one of the Mad Max actors George Miller brought back for the prequel Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, but not as Slit. Instead he plays Scrotus, one of the sons of Immortan Joe. Scrotus–unlike Joe’s other sons Rictus Erectus and Corpus Colossus–doesn’t show up in Fury Road, but instead is a villain in the 2015 Mad Max video game.

Lachy Hulme: Immortan Joe and Rizzdale Pell

In Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, George Miller dialed things up a notch by having two of his actors play different roles in the same film.

We first meet Lachy Hulme as the one-eyed Rizzdale Pell, one of the lieutenants of Dementus.

Hulme also plays Furiosa‘s version of Immortan Joe because sadly Hugh Keays-Byrne, who originated the role, passed away in 2020.

Elsa Patasky: Vuvalini General And Mr. Norton

The second of the Mad Max actors to play two roles in Furiosa is Elsa Patasky, who fans may know better as Elena of the Fast & Furious franchise. Early in the film she plays a Vuvalini General from the young Furiosa’s home.

Later, Patasky plays the much scarier Mr. Norton–one of the survivors of an early Dementus conquest, who fittingly survives longer than just about any of Dementus’ other lieutenants.