In addition to her storied musical career, the late rock legend Tina Turner may have the best run of movie character names of all time. She only played someone else on screen three times in her life, but each occasion was memorable (and memorably named). From The Acid Queen in Ken Russell's "Tommy" to Aunty Entity in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" to The Mayor in "Last Action Hero," Turner's short-lived cinematic career was defined by roles that felt like they were crafted just for her — with stylish names to match.

Turner's biggest film role came via George Miller, who really did craft the role of the third "Mad Max" film's villain around Turner. According to a retrospective written for NME in honor of the film's 35th anniversary, Miller and co-writer Terry Hayes made up the role for Turner after Miller was captivated by her after seeing her in a British TV interview. Attempting to cast the singer as a glamorous, confident opponent to Mel Gibson's Max seems like it would've been a pie-in-the-sky idea, even for a franchise with as big a cultural footprint as "Mad Max." After all, by the early to mid-'80s, Turner was already busy with her career comeback, having released a string of dance hits as a solo act after years spent working with her ex, Ike Turner.

The Crew Upgraded The Vehicle So Turner Could Drive It

Not only did Turner agree to play a headlining role in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," but she actually was also eager to do some of her own stunts in the driving-heavy film. Aunty Entity drove a custom-made vehicle that matched the franchise's post-apocalyptic aesthetic: clunky and big, with what looked like a mishmash of scrap parts salvaged from a dusty, dry world. It was also, for lack of a better word, a convertible-style vehicle, with an exposed driver's seat and a turret seat that was open on top. It's no surprise, then, that NME reports Miller being reluctant to let Turner try her hand at stunt driving.

According to the retrospective, the "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" team did ultimately allow Turner to drive her own vehicle during a few of the film's sequences, but the car had to be converted from its initial manual version (she couldn't drive stick) to an automatic upgrade. During a Rolling Stone set visit, a reporter noted that Turner wanted to do her own stunts, but hadn't yet. Instead, she watched from offscreen while a stunt driver careened across the desert. As the original piece from 1985 put it: "As the growling sand buggies go barreling over the lip of the incline and screaming down the hill, she can't suppress an excited whoop. 'Was that great?' she said. 'S**t!'"

'Entity Is A Survivor; She Isn't One-Dimensional'

Miller and the crew made sure Turner was prepared for the intensive shoot, and the filmmaker told Rolling Stone that she was a quick learner. "We recognized that it was going to be difficult for her — as difficult as an actor singing a rock concert," he said at the time, "So we insisted that she come over for some workshops. And one of the most exciting things for us was to see her intense learning." The film turned out to be the last "Mad Max" installment the world would see for the next 30 years, and with decades of retrospect, it seems to have become the most polarizing film of the franchise.

When it came to Turner's casting, though, Miller knew what he was doing. The filmmaker saw in her what so many people before and since did: her resilience. "If she were dark and one-dimensional, she would be a very clichéd character," he told Rolling Stone. "But Entity is a survivor; she isn't one-dimensional. And that's what struck me about Tina, that her persona is very strong, very good. Very positive." Turner, too, was a survivor whose life and career were marked by both her strength and complexity. She never took on a starring role in a film again after "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," but she did get to live out a dream in the role — to drive like a bat out of hell, for at least a scene or two.

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