Even within the crazy world of Mad Max: Fury Road, Coma the Doof Warrior stood out as a particularly crazy creation. Which was all the more remarkable because he doesn’t have a single line in the film. In fact, there’s a good chance you don’t even recognize him by name. But if you’ve seen the movie, you definitely remember him: he’s the guy rocking the combination flamethrower/guitar.
Though the movie doesn’t spend a lot of time delving into Coma’s history, director George Miller and actor iOTA devised one for him anyway. Hit the jump to read the Mad Max Doof backstory.
iOTA spilled Doof’s details in a chat with Audiences Everywhere (via The Playlist):
I knew that George had said that Coma was found by Immortan Joe in a Cave and taken under his wing and he learned to be a musician. 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.
Creepy. Oh, and that amazing red onesie? That was all iOTA’s idea:
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.
Part of what makes Coma fun is the sheer WTF-ery of his presence. But as Miller explained to The Daily Beast, Doof actually serves an important function within Immortan Joe’s army:
He’s logical to that world. Pre-modern communications, there was always the music of war—the bugle, horns, bagpipes, drummers. Every war culture had some sound to signal the troops… ours is just weaponized, so it’s a flamethrower as well.
Which, fair enough. It’s not like Immortan Joe could just plug in an iPod. In that light, what better way to rally the troops than by strapping a onesie-clad warrior-musician to a car loaded up with amps, speakers, giant drums, and a flamethrower guitar?
Although the flamethrower guitar was really real, iOTA reveals it looked better than it sounded:
Well, it made a noise. You wouldn’t want to do an album with it. It was pretty shit. 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 shit.
And while iOTA says he’d “absolutely” return for a sequel, he seems wary of taking the character too far. After all, Coma’s mystique adds to his rock star appeal. “I guess there’s a good backstory there, but maybe this is enough,” he said. “Maybe any more would ruin it.”
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