Megan Gale was naked and perched in an abandoned water tower 20 metres above a desert in the west African nation of Namibia.
The Perth-born model-actress was exposed for hours to one of the world’s harshest environments.
Standing below and out of the camera’s view was the great Australian director George Miller, Oscar-winner Charlize Theron, The Dark Knight Rises villain Tom Hardy and several hundred members of the Mad Max: Fury Road crew.
The scene being shot was a pivotal one for the fourth film in Miller’s Mad Max franchise. From the comfort of a cinema seat audiences would probably wonder if Gale suffered a severe case of sunburn from the desert sun.
“None,” Gale laughed during a video interview with AAP.
“It was actually freezing that day.”
It might appear as though the sun was beating down, but the scene began shooting just after daybreak.
The temperature was close to zero and a bitterly cold wind cut through the brutal landscape.
“Oh, poor Megan,” Miller said as he recalled the scene. “She was up there and it was cold. “
It was winter and as the day goes on and the sun comes up it does warm up a lot, but that particular day I remember it was incredibly windy and there was a lot of cloud cover so there wasn’t much respite.”
Miller had been attempting to cast the 39-year-old Gale in one of his films for years, including selecting her as Wonder Woman in 2008 for the superhero ensemble Justice League of America that was never made.
Gale, cast as the desert warrior Valkyrie, flew to Namibia expecting to have a few days before having to strip off and climb the tower. There was a schedule change and the nude scene was the first she shot.
“I thought, ‘Cool. I’ll have some time to get to know everyone before I’m naked in front of everyone’,” Gale said.
“But it was, ‘No, sorry it’s changed. It’s actually going to be day one in the morning’.
“It was cold, deceptively cold.
“But, the crew was so respectful and so lovely and I was so well looked after, but yeah it was a good first day on the set.”
Miller, 70, who on a shoestring budget and while working as a casualty doctor in a hospital, wrote, directed and produced the original Mad Max in 1979 starring an unknown actor named Mel Gibson, was full of praise for Gale.
“She’s amazing,” he said.
“She’s just so cheerful. “I thought, ‘Is she afraid of heights and that kind of thing?’
“But, no she was great.”
Mad Max: Fury Road opens on May 14.