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“There are those people who completely fill the world when you’re with them. He was certainly one of those,” George Miller told IndieWire’s Eric Kohn about the late actor Hugh Keays-Byrne hours after his passing. Keays-Byrne, the Australian actor best known for playing the villain characters in two “Mad Max” movies, died December 2 at the age of 73. Miller cast the actor to play the evil Toecutter opposite Mel Gibson in the original 1979 “Mad Max” movie, then cast him again to play the villainous Immortan Joe in the 2015 sequel “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
As Miller told IndieWire, the two collaborators’ paths crossed thanks to Keays-Byrne’s association with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The actor was touring the world as part of the ensemble of Peter Brook’s stage production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and landed in Australia for his final shows.