Almost a decade after the release of Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlize Theron has opened up in greater detail about the widely publicized contention on set between herself and Tom Hardy, her costar and fictional adversary in the film.
Addressing previous reports that circulated when Mad Max premiered in 2015, Charlize shed more light on her rift with Tom, and said certain behaviors made her feel unsafe during filming in an excerpt from reporter Kyle Buchanan's new book, Blood, Sweat, and Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road.
We know from others involved in Mad Max that Charlize and Tom's real-life feud colored the movie's production. Zoë Kravitz, who played a supporting role, said they "didn't get along" in a 2017 interview while the leading actors themselves acknowledged their clash in subsequent comments to the New York Times.
The excerpt from Kyle's book focuses partly on an incident that left Charlize "scared shitless," and led her to request that a woman producer escort her everywhere until Mad Max had wrapped. As Mark Goellnicht, a crew member, explained, it started when Tom arrived three hours late to set one day.
"She's now in the War Rig, sitting there with her makeup on and a full costume for three hours. Tom turns up, and he walks casually across the desert," Mark shared. "She jumps out of the War Rig, and she starts swearing her head off at him, saying, 'Fine the fucking cunt a hundred thousand dollars for every minute that he's held up this crew,' and 'How disrespectful you are!' She was right. Full rant."
"It got to a place where it was kind of out of hand, and there was a sense that maybe sending a woman producer down could maybe equalize some of it, because I didn't feel safe," Charlize recalled.
"I don't want to make excuses for bad behavior, but it was a tough shoot. Now, I have a very clear perspective on what went down," she added. "I don't think I had that clarity when we were making the movie. I was in survival mode; I was really scared shitless."
Charlize first spoke at length about her clash with Tom in comments to the Times two years ago. "In retrospect, I didn't have enough empathy to really, truly understand what he must have felt like to step into Mel Gibson's shoes," Charlize told the newspaper, noting how Tom took on the Mad Max part that Mel originated in the franchise's prior installments.
"I would agree," said Tom in the same interview. "I think in hindsight, I 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. 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."
You can read the full excerpt from Blood, Sweat, and Chromehere.
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