Chris Hemsworth's Dad 'Hung out' with “Mad Max” Bikers from the 1979 Film, “Furiosa” Director Reveals (Exclusive)

In what George Miller calls a “full-circle” moment, ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ star Chris Hemsworth has a familial connection to the franchise’s original film

<p>Jeff Spicer/Getty</p> (Left-right:) Chris Hemsworth and George Miller on May 18

Jeff Spicer/Getty

(Left-right:) Chris Hemsworth and George Miller on May 18

Chris Hemsworth and the Mad Max movies were a match made in biker-gang heaven.

Writer-director George Miller tells PEOPLE the Thor star has a connection to his film franchise that began all the way back in 1979. Chris’ father Craig “hung out with the biker gang that was in the first Mad Max,” says the Australian filmmaker. “There's a photograph!”

Chris, 40, plays a biker in Miller’s latest venture into the Wasteland: Dementus, a wild warlord who rides a chariot constructed of motorcycles, in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. The epic prequel to 2015’s Oscar-winning Mad Max: Fury Road, the new film stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Imperator Furiosa in her early years.

Related: All About Chris and Liam Hemsworth's Parents, Craig and Leonie Hemsworth

In what Miller, 79, calls a “full-circle” moment, Chris’ father almost joined the original Mad Max film of 1979, which starred Mel Gibson as a cop seeking revenge amid the societal and ecological collapse of Australia.

“He was a social worker going to university, otherwise he would've been part of that biker gang in Melbourne,” recalls Miller. 

Earlier this month, Chris confirmed that fact in an interview with Cinemablend, saying, “My dad used to race motorbikes and knew all the crew that performed a lot of those stunts and did the riding in the film.”

<p>Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> 1979's 'Mad Max'


1979's 'Mad Max'

Related: Chris Hemsworth Explains Why Working with Wife Elsa Pataky on Furiosa Was 'Like Date Night for Us’ (Exclusive)

Miller tells PEOPLE that casting the role of Furiosa’s deranged villain was no easy feat. “I had no idea who could play Dementus,” he admits. But after meeting Chris and learning about his “extraordinary parents,” he says, “I thought, ‘God, the guy's not 40 yet and he's got so much wisdom. Very smart, a very wise person.’

“I gave him the script and he responded to the character really well,” adds Miller. “I've worked with some really fine actors, and he just is definitely up there with them.”

When Chris was first cast as Dementus, he made it clear in an Instagram post that he holds Miller in the highest esteem. “Mad Max was the pinnacle and a huge reason why I got into the business of telling stories,” he wrote in the 2020 post. The franchise, he said, “meant the world to me as a kid growing up in Australia.”

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<p>Lionel Hahn/Getty </p> (Left-right:) Craig Hemsworth and Chris Hemsworth on May 15

Lionel Hahn/Getty

(Left-right:) Craig Hemsworth and Chris Hemsworth on May 15

On Thursday, May 23, Chris received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a ceremony attended by his wife Elsa Pataky, their three children and both his parents.

Related: Robert Downey Jr. Roasts Chris Hemsworth as the 'Second-Best Chris' in Funny Walk of Fame Tribute

In a speech honoring his Furiosa muse, Miller recounted the story of Craig’s proximity to 1979’s Mad Max. He then praised Chris, saying, “He’s a great actor and I’m so happy to say he’s a great human being.”

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is in theaters now. 

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