Road to the red carpet
Wednesday, 13th May, 2015
By Michael Murphy
As a pint-swilling 18-year-old growing up in Yorkshire, Adrian Bennett never thought he would ever get the chance to walk the red carpet at a blockbuster movie premiere.
But that’s exactly what the Silverton museum owner will do tonight at the Australian premiere of “Mad Max: Fury Road” in George Street, Sydney.
Adrian and his wife Linda will be special guests of the dynamic stunt duo - Mick and Annette van Moorsel - who were charged with putting the thrills and spills into the long-awaited fourth instalment of George Miller’s classic franchise.
Adrian struck up a friendship with the couple when they arrived in Broken Hill for pre-production work on the film, back when the epic action movie was pegged for the Silver City.
The film was finally shot in Africa because the district around Broken Hill was too green at the time.
“Mick and Annette sent me a few things from Africa, and when they came back we went out to lunch in Broken Hill,” Adrian said.
At the time, the professional daredevils - whose credits include The Matrix and Mission Impossible - said they would invite the Silverton couple to the premiere when it came along.
But Adrian and Linda thought nothing of it, until they got a phone call last week.
“You could have knocked us over with a feather,” Adrian said. “It’s just not something we are used to.”
They hit the road on Monday night, bound for Sydney, ready to take part in all the glitz and glamour of the first Aussie showing.
The film’s top stunt couple are dressing up as characters in the movie, and will be driving vehicles from the Opera House to the George Street cinema.
Adrian dug out his best “camos” (camouflage pants) while Linda is going for the post-apocalyptic glamour look.
More than 2000 guests are expected at the event.
Adrian’s Mad Max 2 Museum in Silverton has attracted thousands of visitors since it opened in September 2010.
Adrian said crowds had picked up since Easter, with between 80 to 100 visitors a day.
The Yorkshireman had just turned 18 years old when Mad Max came into his life.
“I got dragged to a cinema by a couple of mates who had seen it the night before,” Adrian said.
“Being 18, I was just really interested in getting out to the pub and having a few beers.
“But my mates said you have got to come and see these two movies.”
Mad Max 2 has just been released in UK theatres and they were showing the first two movies back-to-back.
“I thought, well, it’s just three hours of my life. I can go to the cinema and then catch the last orders at the pub on the way home,” Adrian said.
“I didn’t know what to expect at all, because I didn’t know anything about Mad Max.
“I had never even heard of the films.
“I just remember sitting down at the start of the first film and thinking ‘Oh my God, I have never seen any like this before in my life’.
“I never got to the pub ... I had to sit down and think about what I had just seen on the screen and kind of process it.”
Adrian and Linda came to Australia in 2004 for a holiday and visited the location of the first movie in Victoria, then came up to Broken Hill.
“I never thought I would live here. I never thought I would be doing this (running the museum) ... I was just happy to be coming out on holiday.
“The highlight to me was coming out here to Broken Hill and out to the (Mundi Mundi) lookout ... this was just before sunset, and it felt like I had come home.
“And I said to Linda ‘Do you think you could live here?’.
“And thinking it would never happen, she said: ‘Yes’.”