Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome: Tina Turner as Aunty Entity
While Mad Max and Mad Max 2 did not feature any international stars in the cast, directors George Miller and George Ogilvie cast veteran American entertainer Tina Turner as Aunty Entity, the central antagonist in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
Turner's impressive career was focused on music rather than acting, but she had memorably played the Acid Queen in Ken Russell's musical film Tommy in 1975. Dressed in a chainmail mini-dress and extravagant wig, she threw herself into the role.
The Mad Max universe is never divided neatly into polar opposites – black and white, good and evil. Aunty Entity was a once benevolent ruler of Bartertown who had since become tyrannical. Casting a charismatic performer like Tina as the villain meant you couldn't help liking her.
This production still seems to perfectly capture the character of Aunty Entity. Striking and almost leonine in appearance, she has an expression bordering on vulnerability.
Tina Turner's popularity was riding high at the time, built on her multi-platinum album Private Dancer from the previous year. She provided vocals for two hit songs from Thunderdome: 'We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)' and 'One of the Living'.
'We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)' was a huge international hit, reaching No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100, No. 3 in the UK and No. 1 in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. It earned songwriters Terry Britten and Graham Lyle Golden Globe and Grammy nominations and won them an Ivor Novello songwriting award in 1985.