Emil Minty as The Feral Kid in ‘The Road Warrior’ and Minty now (Everett Collection/Facebook)
The Feral Kid is all grown up — and now has two kids of his own.
The original Mad Max movie catapulted Mel Gibson from the Australian desert to international fame, but in the film’s first sequel, 1981′s The Road Warrior, the actor was upstaged by a grunting little kid with a mullet and deadly aim with a razor-sharp boomerang. He looked like Bam Bam Rubble brought to life, and had an even smaller vocabulary than the club-swinging Flintstones tot.
The role was played by a precocious 8-year-old actor named Emil Minty, who is now 43-year-old married father of two, working in Sydney as the manager of a jewelry store. He looks back fondly on his wild child days, even recalling how he won the job: After a competitive audition process, he beat out the other kids by coming up with his own backstory for the mysterious character.
“My story was that my mum, dad and I were flying, we ran out of fuel and landed; my father went to go find fuel, and did not return,” he said in an interview with Yahoo Movies. “My mother left to go find my father and she also never returned, which left me to fend for myself.”
The Feral Kid did more than just survive; he became a crucial combatant in the war against a bunch of oil-hungry bandits. He rode alongside Gibson in one of the film’s climactic action scenes, secretly strapped into the broken car as the film’s title character helped the stunt drivers switch the gears in the middle of the high speed chase.
Without ever delivering a comprehensible line, young Minty became a fur-clad sensation, giving the kind of performance in the kind of part that, had the movie come out 30 years later, would have made him a viral sensation — a hairy little Groot who’d surely charm fans and late-night hosts alike.
Though young, Minty had plenty of input into his character. He designed much of his own costume — he was the one to suggest covering Ugg boots with real animal skins — and got to keep his most Minty has held on to the boomerang for the past 34 years.
Another fun anecdote he could tell on those late night shows: He almost got banned from the film’s premiere, even after losing the matted mullet wig.
“We received a letter to inform me that I was unable to attend the premiere due to the films classification being R rated,” he said. Soon after, the film was reclassified to “M,” which is ostensibly the equivalent of a PG-13, a new rating that allowed him to slip into the screening.
There were no such worries when Minty attended the Sydney of Mad Max Fury Road with his 13-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. Along with his wife of 17 years, they all “live life like most ordinary families.”
Emil Minty and his son Jacob (Facebook)
And while he was a mere spectator at the premiere on Wednesday night, Minty —like just about everyone else — was wild about the new Mad Max film.
“It was a mind-blowing, action-packed movie from start to finish,” he said. “Magnificent work from George Miller and the entire cast and crew.”
Very well-said for a guy who rose to fame by not speaking at all.