Tom Burke was surprised and thrilled by Furiosa role

Tom Burke’s role in ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ came as a “great surprise”.

The 42-year-old actor always wanted to star in a blockbuster action film but didn’t think his earlier career choices would lead to a role such as Praetorian Jack in the new movie.

He told Big Issue magazine: “Mel Gibson was one of my favourite actors, so my younger self would love to know I was going to do a ‘Mad Max’ film.

“Richard Harris and Anton Lesser re the people who made me want to act, but I also loved Mel Gibson and Eddie Murphy.

“I remember watching ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ with my dad and him going, ‘That man has poise.’ And he does!

“I always knew I’d love to do an action film and if you’re doing that, you want it to be with someone like George Miller.

“But you think, if I’m going to have that career, I’ve got to probably do a lot of not so good action films first to get in that sphere.

“And as a younger actor, I was like, I’d rather be in a Strindberg play actually.

“That’s going to be more interesting. So it’s been a great surprise that it’s somehow led around to this.”

Tom’s godfather was the late Alan Rickman, and he learned a lot from him.

He said: “Alan Rickman taught me so much. He would say to everyone, ‘Remember, it’s not a race, remember it’s not a race.’

“I know people who do treat acting like it’s a race and that must be exhausting.

“There were a couple of near misses with roles that could have made a substantial difference to my career. But I just had to let go.

“It was like seeing people sprinting off ahead of you, many of whom are my friends.

“Most actors have that experience at some point.”

The ‘Mank’ actor would rather take the time to enjoy all aspects of his life instead of focusing solely on his work.

He added: “I don’t want it to say ‘He made 200 movies’ on my gravestone – there’s so much other stuff in my life to enjoy.

“I wonder when people are flying high if they ever have a moment to experience other stuff.”