There was certainly no shortage of noteworthy bells and whistles looking to grab your attention in Mad Max: Fury Road. However, amidst the explosive mega-battles and guys with flamethrower guitars, the film also focused on the group of rescued women who were unwillingly betrothed to the film’s creepy post-apocalyptic overlord, Immortan Joe. It seems that the bond shared by their characters was mirrored in a real life friendship, as the group actually chose to venerate the experience with a special tattoo.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, one of the five Fury Road sister wives, Courtney Eaton, discusses the notoriously difficult desert shoot for the film, which ended up creating the aforementioned bond. Eaton plays "Fragile," a name, which, contrary to A Christmas Story, isn’t Italian. Fury Road would serve as the film debut for the 19 year-old Aussie starlet, and she reveals that the experience has already created an indelible bond with her fellow faux sister wives. According to Eaton:
We all got the same tattoo—three little dots and a triangle.
Eaton was joined in this bizarre "Sisterhood of the Traveling Chastity Belts" by Rosie Huntington-Whitely as "Splendid," Zoë Kravitz as "Toast," Riley Keough as "Capable" and Abbey Lee as "The Dag." As Eaton would reveal, as far as film debuts went, Mad Max: Fury Road was definitely a trial by fire. She describes the African shoot as six long months, with five in Namibia and one in Capetown. While the challenging elements certainly played a role in creating this tattoo-inspiring bond among the five, it may have also been attributed to the nature of their characters, who were young women plucked from their youth and objectified essentially as livestock for breeding with the film’s villainous water-hoarding desert dictator.
In fact, director George Miller brought a rather curious consultant onto the set in Eve Ensler, the playwright behind The Vagina Monologues. She was tasked with coaching the quintet to help channel emotions in their performance related to the effects of sexual abuse. Having worked with rape victims in the Congo, Ensler reportedly shed a brutally real context onto the characters, which, according to Rosie Huntington-Whitely, helped shape critical background for each of the sister wife characters.
While such preparation may have been an oddly deep pathological reach for roles in an action-centric film such as Mad Max: Fury Road, it ultimately added a necessary nuance to the liberated captives. Through stories, the group could more accurately reflect the demeanor of the victimized young women they were portraying; each literally objectified in the most repugnant way. Thus, the experience may have added an additionally poignant layer to their tattoo-sharing bond.
At the moment, Mad Max: Fury Road is dealing with a kind of paradox; one where it finds itself one of the generally best-reviewed new films on the market, but falling short of #1 in its debut weekend at $44 million to Pitch Perfect 2’s $70 million. That being said, we’ve seen the surprising power that simple word-of-mouth buzz can create, which could possibly give Fury Road a chance to hold its own against this weekend’s newcomers in the Disney theme-park-themed Tomorrowland and the Poltergeist remake.