In a new tell-all book about the making of 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlize Theron discusses her experience working with Tom Hardy; Theron has never made it a secret that she had a rough time with the Legend actor. Theron, 46, gave an interview at the time with Esquire saying that her co-star “drove her crazy” and “they went at it.”
Pop culture reporter for the New York Times, Kyle Buchanan, wrote Blood, Sweat & Chrome, conducting more than 130 interviews with key members of the cast and crew, including Theron, Hardy and director George Miller to get a full perspective of the production. An excerpt from the book has been published by Vanity Fair, in which Theron describes some of the “horrible” conditions she faced while filming Fury Road.
Per Gizmodo, the excerpt paints a much more dramatic picture of the set conditions than those described in previous interviews. Hardy, 44, is known to be difficult to work with (he even admitted as much in this 2015 Esquire UK interview) — he’s a method actor as well. Buchanan’s book shows that Hardy has some awareness that his behavior isn’t appropriate, as well as how everyone on set — including Miller and the producers — failed to protect Theron’s well-being and mental health during filming.
Those who saw what was going on between Theron and Hardy recount the intense, traumatic and sometimes terrifying nature of the co-stars’ interactions, including a moment where the co-stars nearly came to blows after Hardy showed up over three hours late to set. In the excerpt, camera operator Mark Goellnicht explains that when Hardy eventually showed up, Theron went over to confront him, yelling across the desert:
“[Theron] was right. Full rant. She screams it out. It’s so loud, it’s so windy—[Hardy] might’ve heard some of it, but he charged up to her up and went, ‘What did you say to me?’
He was quite aggressive. She really felt threatened, and 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.”
Hardy was so aggressive on set, Theron demanded a woman producer to be around her at all times because she didn’t feel safe. However, the woman was never actually allowed on set because another producer (Doug Mitchell), refused to let Miller’s direction be interrupted.
Hardy said in Blood, Sweat & Chrome, “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.”