Remember that insane musician in “Mad Max: Fury Road“? The one with the flame-throwing guitar? Yeah, he has a name and it’s Coma the Doof Warrior. Bet you didn’t know that.
It’s understandable as his name wasn’t mentioned at all, nor did he have any lines in the movie.
Yet (or because of it), Coma the Doof Warrior remained one of the most memorable characters. Well, it’s not without reason, as who can forget the heart-pumping music played during intense moments of the film? Or the heavy metal music that was the soundtrack to the movie?
The popularity even compelled Sean Hape, who played the blind guitarist, to sit down with Audiences Everywhere and Noisey to talk about his portrayal.
During his interview with Audiences Everywhere, he revealed the initial backstory of Coma:
I knew that George (Miller) had said that Coma was found by Immortan Joe in a Cave and taken under his wing and he learned to be a musician.
However, the goofy actor said he decided to reinvent the story:
I kind of embellished that for myself. Basically, my story was that Coma was found with his mother’s head, after she had been killed, and he was clinging to it and Immortan Joe came and found him and Coma took her face off and made the mask out of her face, to honor her when he went to war.
Definitely a more fascinating (albeit gory) version of Coma’s origin.
Hape, who is better known as iOTA, also shared that the flamethrower/guitar wasn’t just a dummy, and the whammy bar-controlled guitar actually spouted fire:
It made a noise. You wouldn’t want to do an album with it. It was pretty sh*t. It made a great sound and, to me, it felt perfect for the environment. In the sun and the dust in the cold, it was perfect. But it was always going to be a bit sh*t.
He was dressed up in costume for 8 hours straight, but luckily, iOTA had creative control over what he wore, which certainly made it more bearable:
Coma didn’t really have a costume, as such. So there was lots of trying stuff on and I remember thinking that an old farcical onesie would be good with the butt flap hanging out the back. The mask was something that was worked on and influence came from everyone. And certainly Angus and AC/DC was an influence.
Taking up the role of Coma was also a dream come true for the musician-cum-actor:
I always sort of wanted to be one of the members of KISS really. I’ve always been a big KISS fan. But it’s close. It’s pretty close if not better, right? I grew up with the “Mad Max” films.”Mad Max 2″ was the 1st film that I saw at the drive-in with my dad. And it became part of my life. And it became part of my imaginings. To actually have been sitting up… Well, hanging up in the middle of the desert with all of those trucks tearing around me.
He then added, “It was just unbelievable. I was excitedly pinching myself constantly the whole time. I’m so lucky.”
In another interview with Noisey, iOTA expressed the hardships of holding up the cumbersome guitar and raving like a lunatic at the same time:
I was up on the truck and we were tearing through the desert and I had bungies on my hips and the guitar had bungies on it as well because it weighs about 60 kilos. It’s impossible to hold up. I wasn’t blind until the mask comes off at the end of the film and I had a prosthetic on for that so I was kind of led around by the hands for a day or 2.
In that situation, I don’t think there’s a lot of direction that you need. It’s one of the craziest situations you could ever find yourself in. There’s cars tearing all around you with dust and smoke, it’s very loud. I was just screaming my head off and being kind of like an animal, I guess. The character is supposed to be a really great musician who is a bit mute and a bit deaf, and quite blind. I think of him as sort of a Quasimodo-like character.
While iOTA did say that he would “absolutely be there” for a sequel, he commented that it would be better off if the character remained untouched. “I guess there’s a good backstory there, but maybe this is enough,” as he shot down the possibility of a better fleshed-out character, saying “maybe any more would ruin it.”
Well, that was one interesting interview! Want to know more about the character? Click here to enjoy some fun facts about the movie!
Directed by George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road” stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee, and Courtney Eaton. The movie was released on 14th May in cinemas nationwide.