The latest Mad Max movie shook a lot of Hollywood foundations. It eschewed many modern action blockbuster trends by using a group of strong female leads, keeping the chatter to minimum. The action scenes were filmed gloriously and its time in the box office could best be described as “shiny and chrome.”
Imperator Furiosa, arguably the main character of the story, is not only a strong female lead, she’s kicking ass with a physical disability. The character, played by Charlize Theron, doesn’t give a back story, she doesn’t demo her prosthetic arm or seem to favor one arm over the other. The welded and rigged prosthetic simply is, and it is awesome.
This did not escape Laura Vaughn. She wrote about the impact the movie had on her in her blog.
I’ve been a fan of action film my entire life. And I have NEVER seen a physically disabled, kickass, female lead character in a Hollywood movie EVER – not once, until yesterday.
Vaughn, who is a fetal amputee — someone born without a limb — was blown away. She had to replicate this awesome prosthetic for DragonCon. She had already been working with Michelle Sleeper of Overworld Designs on a different project (a cool terminator arm), but the two shifted gears toward Furiosa.
In this forum thread on the popular costuming forum TheRPF.com, Sleeper outlines the process of creating this fantastic rig. The process involved taking molds of Vaughn, taking molds of various items they wanted to incorporate, lots of sculpting, and tons of finishing.
For more images of the process, you’ll have to go read through the whole forum thread.