Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy played the lead roles in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. But it turned out their working relationship devolved to the point that the A-listers got into shouting matches. According to New York Columnist Kyle Buchanan’s new book Blood Sweat & Chrome: The Wild And True Story Of Mad Max: Fury Road, Theron had called Hardy a f***king c*** after he made her wait on set for hours.
In an excerpt published by Vanity Fair, the cast and crew of the production also shared how Theron, 46, got a female producer to be with her at all times as protection against the 44-Year-Old actor.
In a new interview, Natascha Hopkins, a stunt double on Fury Road, recounted how Theron didn’t want to waste time on set, as she was a new mom at the time and was balancing her role with parenting. Camera operator Mark Goellnicht recalled how Hardy was often late for the start of shooting. He shared that Theron was on set at eight o’clock sharp and got her makeup and costume set up before getting into the film’s War Rig.
Despite producers making a special request for Hardy to show up on time, it’s alleged it would be hours more before he arrived.
Hardy had starred as the title character played by Mel Gibson in the first three films in the series.
While Theron starred as newcomer Imperator Furiosa, a lieutenant to the villain Immortan Joe [Hugh Keays-Bryne], who turned against her leader.
Goellnicht recounted: “Gets to nine o’clock, still no Tom. Charlize, do you want to get out of the War Rig and walk around, or do you want to…. “No, I’m going to stay here. She was going to make a point. She didn’t go to the bathroom, didn’t do anything. She just sat in the War Rig.” Hardly arrived after 11 a.m. while Theron had remained in the vehicle the entire time.
He continued: “She jumps out of the War Rig, and she starts swearing her head off at him, saying Fine the f**ing c** a hundred thousand dollars for every minute that he’s held up this crew, and How disrespectful you are!” She was right. Full rant. She screams it out. It’s so loud, it’s so windy – he might’ve heard some of it, but he charged up to her and went, “What did you say to me?”
The camera operator admitted Hardy appeared quite aggressive and felt threatened by Theron.
“That was the turning point because then she said: “I want someone as protection. She then had a producer that was assigned to be with her all the time.” Theron reportedly explained that it “It got to a place where it was kind of out of hand, and there was a sense that maybe sending a women producer down could maybe equalize some of it because I didn’t feel safe.”
She added: “I kind of put my foot down. [Director] George [Miller] then said: “Okay, well if Denise comes.” He was open to it and that kind of made me breathe a little bit, because it felt like I would have another woman understand what I was up against.”
However, Theron noted that when she was on set, she still felt pretty naked and alone as the producer Denise Di Novi was forced to stay in the production office and wasn’t permitted on sets on the orders of producers Doug Mitchell. Kelly Marcel, a screenwriter and a friend of Hardy, has since branded Mitchell a bulldog but then admitted that the fight between the lead actors came from an intense period in an intense place, though she claimed Family was made there and the family loves and hates each other.
Marcel shared that Hardy was very physical and would try very different things all over the place.
Whereas Theron was cerebral and very consistent in the way that she approached a character.
“They were both powerhouses but in their very different ways of working, which weirdly is why the film works; it’s all pouring out on the screen.” In hindsight, Theron thought it would have been smart for the production to bring a female producer in. On the other hand, Hardy claimed he was “in over my head in many ways” and insisted the pressure on him and Theron was overwhelming at times.
“What she needed was better, perhaps more experience partner in me. That’s something that can’t be faked. I’d like to think that now I’m older and uglier, I could rise to that occasion.”
Goellnicht shared that Hardy was a different person by the end, and he and Theron eventually warmed up to each other after shooting scenes later in the production. He claimed Hardy was a lot easier to deal with, more cooperative, and more compassionate. “He’s such a Method actor that I think he took the arc in the literal sense.” It appears Miller is continuing with the Mad Max Franchise following the on-set animosity between Theron and Hardy.
The next film in the series will be a prequel titled Furiosa, which will focus on a younger version of the character, with Anya Taylor-Joy taking over the role in place of Theron. At a time, Hardy had claimed he was attached to more Mad Max Sequels, but then it’s unknown if those films are still in the works. Likewise, since 2007 Miller had been engaged in a lawsuit filed in Australia against Warner Bros. over millions in bonus payments, which he claims he’s owed for Fury Road.