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‘Mad Max: Fury Road’: Safety Came First For Swinging Pole Stunts

When it comes to stunts, it’s always safety first — and that includes finding the right trainers.

Just ask Glenn Suter, who recruited hundreds of stunt actors from around the world specializing in work with cars, bikes and unique physical feats for “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Among the film’s biggest challenges: fighters perched atop long vertical metal poles swinging wildly back and forth as the cars carrying them raced forward. The exploit was inspired by Cirque du Soleil and, sure enough, Suter hired a gymnast from that troupe to coach the performers.

“The first step was training on poles, spending months developing core strength,” Suter says. “Then we married the sequence with real poles mounted on the floor that provided a swinging motion, similar to that in the actual vehicle.”

Equally important was finding qualified drivers who could safely handle the vehicles during the scene’s execution. The team spent three months perfecting the stunt before it was shot.

Suter has taken his expertise to “Suicide Squad,” director David Ayer’s Marvel adaption currently shooting in Canada. “I’m a big comicbook geek,” the stunt coordinator says. “It’s exciting to be part of a project where the story is built around the characters.”

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