A young man from Sydney talks about his “scary” adventure trying to find Chris Hemsworth on the set of a new Mad Max movie.
A Sydney man who ventured into the desert in a luxury Mercedes rental car in hopes of meeting Chris Hemsworth on the set of a new Mad Max movie says he nearly died in the wilderness after failing to find his hero.
Andy Mai, 23, dropped off his car at a dealer for service earlier this month and was offered a free rental car for the weekend.
He decided to “take advantage” of the luxury car and “go on a crazy road trip”.
Initially planning to head to the Mars-like Mungo National Park about 1000km inland from Sydney, he learned that Hemsworth was somewhere in the Broken Hill region to film a new Mad Max movie called Furiosa, which will be released next. winter in cinemas.
“I’ve changed my entire travel schedule,” said Mr. Mai.
The Hemsworth fan then booked a hotel in Silverton, close to the NSW border with South Australia.
As he peered across the desert plains from the Mundi Mundi lookout, he saw an entourage of tents and trucks somewhere on the horizon.
It marked the beginning of where things started to go wrong.
“I heard they shot the original Mad Max movie there,” he said.
“I saw these trucks driving downhill into the desert. I followed one of the trucks, I thought ‘where does this road end?’, and there was nothing, just dirt.
“There was no official road or anything. The sun set. The trucks, I couldn’t see them anymore.”
The avid Hemsworth fan decided to retire at nightfall and turned his attention to the people of Silverton in an effort to get a clue as to the actor’s whereabouts.
“Everyone was pretty calm about where the set was, even the bartender at the Silverton Hotel.
“First, I think people just didn’t want people rushing into the film set, but two, I think the locals didn’t have much information,” he said.
By the time he finally gave up meeting his hero and began the journey back to Sydney, Mr. Mai discovered that the luxurious Mercedes wasn’t quite suited to the dirt roads of the desert.
“This car was not built for the desert – 50 percent of the journey was just dirt road. There were so many potholes,” he said.
“I got stuck three times and the third time I got stuck.”
Mai got stuck on a remote dirt road because he “hadn’t seen another car for four or five hours”.
“I had no signal, there was no one in the distance. If something happens, no one will find out for a few days. That part was really scary,” he said.
“I put trees and leaves under the wheels to try to get out. I tried everything and nothing worked.
“But then I heard the sound of sheep going ‘baa, baa,’ and within 10 to 15 minutes I saw a kid on a dirt bike… sort of herding sheep.”
In a desperate attempt to get the young farm boy’s attention off the road, Mr. Mai eventually came to the rescue of the desert boy and his mother.
“After about 20 minutes, he and his mom both get on a dirt bike and help me,” he said.
“The mud flies everywhere, the car in the roof, we all get dirty.
“Fortunately, after a lot of pushing, we were able to get the car out after 30 minutes.”
Mai withdrew to Broken Hill to seek shelter for the night, finding that all accommodation had been booked by the film crew.
He eventually found shelter in the office of an old racetrack that offers a caravan park, but was made to sleep on the icy floor.
“I drove to the desert where everyone can camp, but I got a call back from the man at the racecourse,” said Mr. Mai.
“He said, ‘If you want, you can sleep on the floor and pay me $20.’
“There were many caravans there, but no one but me was sleeping on the floor.
“The kids were like, ‘You’re going to freeze to death.’ I was really cold that night.”
The next day, Mr. Mai drove 13 hours straight to get back to Sydney in time for a work meeting.
He said the trip “nearly killed” him.
“Normally I play music, listen to podcasts, but I was just focused. All my energy was put into staying awake,” he said.
“There were so many moments when I almost crashed.”
Returning the damaged rental then led to a series of additional charges.
“There was mud everywhere—in the car, outside,” Mr. Mai said.
“Before returning it, I took it to the car polisher… cleaned as much as possible. I thought I’d get away with it.
“But two days later I got an email saying ‘Hey, one, you’ve exceeded the mileage limit’ – I’ve driven 3000 km and the limit is only 200 km per day – ‘and two, one of the bumpers behind one of the wheels had popped open and there were scratches.’ So I had to pay a fine for that.”
Mr Mai has no regrets about the trip, although he admits it was disappointing that he never met Hemsworth.
“The lessons I learned were so powerful,” he said.
“Now I know that I have to make sure that I drive with a four-wheel drive. Now I know that I have to take a lot of water with me.
“It’s kind of sad that I didn’t see Chris Hemsworth, but next time I’m going to make sure I go to a film crew on a weekday and do it during the day so I can get into it a bit.
“Now I can prepare for the next time.”
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