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Furiosa: How an iconic scene in 1976's Network helped Anya Taylor-Joy land the lead role

She's mad as hell and she's not going to take it anymore

The I'm Mad As Hell speech from Network
Image credit: United Artists

If there is one thing we know about Furiosa, it is that she’s angry. Whether it's her original portrayal by Charlize Theron in 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road or the younger version coming to us in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, the character has "Fury" right there in her name. She’s mad as heck and she’s not going to take it anymore, which is probably why George Miller got Anya Taylor-Joy to deliver the iconic, oft-parodied monologue from Network as part of her audition for the part of Furiosa.

Aside from being a fitting piece of dialogue, it was also one of the few audition pieces that could be delivered safely during the pandemic. It is a solo piece that can – and should – be delivered directly to the camera and doesn’t require an acting partner to bounce off of. Miller, who was keen to cast Taylor-Joy as the younger Imperator Furiosa after deciding against using de-aging technology on Theron, contacted her to request she perform the “I’m Mad as Hell” speech from Network remotely, recording it on her iPhone.

According to the director, Taylor-Joy delivered one version, got a few notes from Miller, and turned in a second audition good enough to get everyone from the director to the studio executives on board with her taking on the role. The monologue, for those who don’t know, is one of the most famous pieces in cinema history. In it, Peter Finch’s Howard Beale delivers an impassioned speech to his dwindling news viewers to reject the status quo as it is.

He doesn’t offer solutions or platitudes – instead, he urges them to get up, open a window, and yell “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!” Which kind of sums up what we expect Furiosa’s character arc in the upcoming prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road to be.


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Trent Cannon avatar

Trent Cannon

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Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)

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