There were reports of friction between co-stars Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy during filming of “Mad Max: Fury Road”, which were later confirmed by co-star Zoe Kravitz and, eventually, Theron and Hardy themselves.
In a New York Times oral history of the Oscar-winning reboot of the “Mad Max” franchise, the actors addressed their feud.
“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. That is frightening!” Theron said of Hardy.
“I think because of my own fear, we were putting up walls to protect ourselves instead of saying to each other, ‘This is scary for you, and it’s scary for me, too. Let’s be nice to each other.’ In a weird way, we were functioning like our characters: Everything was about survival,” Theron added.
In fact, she explained, “the biggest thing that was driving that entire production was fear… I was incredibly scared, because I’d never done anything like it. I think the hardest thing between me and George [Miller, director] is that he had the movie in his head and I was so desperate to understand it.”
Hardy also described the role he played in the clash. “I think in hindsight, I was in over my head in many ways,” he told the Times. “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.”
He also highlighted the uncertainty that both actors were experiencing during the shoot. “Because of how much detail we were having to process and how little control one had in each new situation, and how fast the takes were — tiny snippets of story moments were needed to make the final cut work — we moved fast, and it was at times overwhelming,” he explained. “One had to trust that the bigger picture was being held together.”