In Mad Max: Fury Road, there is a rather memorable character that is never mentioned by name, but plays an integral role, in regards to the look and sound of director George Miller's apocalyptic adventure. That character is Coma the Doof Warrior, the musician who plays heavy metal riffs from a flamethrowing guitar, while standing atop a massive truck of speakers. There is never any specific mention of the guitarist by any of the other characters, but every time they ride into battle, Coma the Doof Warrior is there, supplying the war music for Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his rowdy crew. Today we finally get some insight into this character from the man who played him, an Australian musician known as Iota. The actor/musician revealed in a new interview that George Miller came up with a back story for Coma, although it is never actually revealed in the movie.
"Yeah. 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."
Coma is always seen wearing a red onesie and a mask in Mad Max: Fury Road, and Iota revealed that the costume was actually his 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 Young and AC/DC was an influence."
The actor also confirmed that he was actually suspended from an actual moving truck for the shoot and the flamethrowing guitar was actually real, with the flamethrower controlled by a whammy bar. The guitar itself actually played, but it wasn't exactly studio-quality.
"Well, it made a noise. You wouldn't want to do an album with it. It was pretty s--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 s--t."
George Miller has already hinted at future sequels for Mad Max: Fury Road. When asked if he would like to come back for more movies, Iota seemed reticent, stating that perhaps more of Coma the Doof Warrior would ruin his mystique.
"I guess there's a good backstory there, but maybe this is enough. Maybe any more would ruin it..."
In a separate interview, George Miller explained that Coma's presence is "logical" in the post-apocalyptic environment he created.
"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."
Would you like to see more of Iota's Coma the Doof Warrior in future sequels to Mad Max: Fury Road? Or do you think we got enough of him in this movie? Chime in with your thoughts below, and stay tuned for more on the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road sequels.