“Furiosa” in love? Star Tom Burke explains why he wanted to be 'careful' about romance

“Furiosa” in love? Star Tom Burke explains why he wanted to be 'careful' about romance

The actor, who plays Furiosa's mentor and Fury Road legend, Praetorian Jack, weighs in on his character's ultimate fate.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

In the run-up to the release of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, one character was kept more under wraps than the others: Tom Burke's Praetorian Jack. And there was good reason for the secrecy.

The new character is introduced about halfway through the Mad Max: Fury Road prequel film as the War Rig driver, known in the Citadel as something of a legend, having done more runs on the Fury Road than anyone else. The reason for the pre-release mystery surrounding the character is no doubt due to the importance he plays in Furiosa's (Anya Taylor-Joy) origin story.

After all, Jack takes her under his wing and teaches her everything he knows about being a road warrior and driving the infamous rig — which she will later come to drive in Fury Road, with Tom Hardy's Mad Max by her side. "I think it gives a really nice context to some of the dynamic she has with Max in Fury Road, both in terms what's at stake and of her connection with other human beings, and also trust of a man in this very particular world they're in," Burke tells Entertainment Weekly.

Related: Hitting the Fury Road: Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth go inside Furiosa, their full-throttle Mad Max prequel

<p>Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.</p> Tom Burke as Praetorian Jack in 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'

Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.

Tom Burke as Praetorian Jack in 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'

The two are certainly battle-tested in the film, and by the end of it, she trusts Jack so much she wants him to come with her on her journey to find the home she was kidnapped from years ago. They share a deep connection and even an embrace of sorts at one point, but the relationship is never shown as fully romantic. According to Burke, this was done intentionally and was something he, in particular, wanted to be "careful" about.

"It was really nice to actually build that with Anya and [co-writer] Nico [Lathouris] and [co-writer and director] George [Miller] because there was a point when it occurred far earlier in the script," Burke explains. "It may have been a hangover from a previous draft because when I read it, it jumped out to me, and I said, 'I think we have to be careful about this because he's kind of a mentor figure. You don't want that to seamlessly change into something else.'"

Related: George Miller provides update on his plans for the future of the Mad Max franchise

Ultimately, the two never share a kiss or physical intimacy on-screen aside from that quick embrace and some final longing glances in their last moments together. "What that ended up being — which I really like is, and George was very excited by the whole idea of — was that it's not until the very last minute of what you see of them together, almost the last second, they go, oh, now we're in a totally different space," says Burke.

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<p>Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.</p> Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa, Tom Burke as Praetorian Jack and Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'

Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.

Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa, Tom Burke as Praetorian Jack and Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'

The British star says this lets the audience interpret their relationship however they see fit, too. Still, he has his own take: "They're not in the world they were in. It's a totally new beginning for them. You know what then happens, obviously. But I think that's more romantic in a way. I mean, that appeals to my own fondness for this tragic romance."

He's referring, of course, to the next moments in the film, which see Praetorian Jack tied to the back of a motorbike and dragged to death while being chased by Dementus' (Chris Hemsworth) dogs, while a tied-up Furiosa watches on helplessly. His death is more implied than shown, though, leading some — like the actor himself — to wonder if maybe, just maybe, he might not be dead. "I was clinging on for the idea that I might still be alive," Burke says, laughing. "I had to put my own dreams out of misery at one point, and I really had to say to George, 'I am actually properly dead, aren't I?' And he's like, 'Uh, yeah.'"

Related: The Mad men of Furiosa: Meet Chris Hemsworth's Dementus and Tom Burke's Praetorian Jack

But just because ole Jack properly bit the dust (sorry), doesn't mean Burke is done for in the Mad Max Wasteland. Late actor Hugh Keays-Byrne initially joined the saga as its first villain, Toecutter, in 1979's Mad Max, before ultimately playing the Citadel's tyrant, Immortan Joe, in Fury Road. And Furiosa itself sees not one but two actors playing different characters. Elsa Pataky first plays a Vuvalini general who helps Furiosa's mother at the beginning of the film. Later, she reappears as a dastardly villain in Dementus' gang known as Mr. Norton. Similarly, Lachy Hulme plays a biker in Dementus' horde and later dons the white hair, face, and gas mask of Immortan Joe.

Should the long-running film franchise get more entries, Burke says he's "hoping" to follow in these footsteps. "Listen, I'd love to come back and stick some mad headgear on or anything that would mean I could come back in any shape, yeah. And it's the kind of world where you could," he says.

Are you listening, George Miller?

Furiosa is in theaters now.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.