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'Mad Max: Fury Road' director opens up about Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron's on-set feud

Eve Crosbie   

'Mad Max: Fury Road' director opens up about Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron's on-set feud
  • George Miller spoke about Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron's feud on the set of "Mad Max: Fury Road."
  • He told The Telegraph he thought the dispute was due to them being "two very different performers."

Filmmaker George Miller opened up about the on-set feud between "Mad Max: Fury Road" stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in an interview with The Telegraph.

The Australian director shared his perspective on the tension that developed between the actors on the set of the 2015 blockbuster, and how it eventually boiled over when Hardy made Theron wait three hours to film a scene.

Miller said that, at the heart of it, "they were just two very different performers."

"Tom has a damage to him but also a brilliance that comes with it, and whatever was going on with him at the time, he had to be coaxed out of his trailer," he said. "Whereas Charlize was incredibly disciplined — a dancer by training, which told in the precision of her performance — and always the first one on set."

The 79-year-old Academy Award-winning director, who has returned to the franchise to direct the prequel, "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga," added that he "saw their behavior as mirroring their characters, where they had to learn to co-operate to ensure mutual survival."

In Kyle Buchanan's 2022 book about the making of the film, "Blood, Sweat, and Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road," both Theron, who played Imperator Furiosa in the movie and Hardy, who played the titular character Max Rockatansky, spoke candidly about their strained working relationship.

In an excerpt published by Vanity Fair, the actors and crew members recounted the major argument between the pair after Hardy left Theron and the production crew waiting for hours.

Camera operator Mark Goellnicht said he "vividly" remembered the incident, explaining that Theron started "swearing her head off" at Hardy, calling him "disrespectful" and saying he should be fined "a hundred thousand dollars for every minute" that he held up the crew.

Goellnicht said Hardy then "charged up to her," which left Theron feeling "threatened" and led to her asking for a producer to be with her at all times.

Theron said she felt things had gotten "out of hand" and that she felt like the presence of a female producer "could maybe equalize some of it, because I didn't feel safe."

For his part, Hardy said in the book that he "was in over my head in many ways."

"The pressure on both of us was overwhelming at times. What she needed was a better, perhaps more experienced partner in me," he added. "That's something that can't be faked. I'd like to think that now that I'm older and uglier, I could rise to that occasion."

Miller told The Telegraph he took steps to ensure the same issues didn't crop up between Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth on the set of the new prequel.

"You have to be obsessive about safety – physical safety, as the shoot goes on and fatigue sets in, but also psychological safety," he said. "It's not like the wild old days."

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