Mad Max director says there was ‘no excuse’ for Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy’s on-set feud

Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy in 2015 (Getty Images)
Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy in 2015 (Getty Images)

Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller has addressed the on-set feud between the film’s leads, Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy.

In a new interview, the Australian filmmaker reflected on the 2015 movie, sharing that he believed their infamous clash stemmed from them being “two very different performers”.

Miller told The Telegraph: “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.

“Whereas Charlize was incredibly disciplined – a dancer by training, which told in the precision of her performance – and always the first one on set.

“I’m an optimist, so I saw their behaviour as mirroring their characters, where they had to learn to co-operate in order to ensure mutual survival.

George Miller pictured centre alongside Anya Taylor-Joy (L) and Chris Hemsworth (R) (Getty Images for CinemaCon)
George Miller pictured centre alongside Anya Taylor-Joy (L) and Chris Hemsworth (R) (Getty Images for CinemaCon)

“There’s no excuse for it, and I think there’s a tendency in this business to use great performances as an excuse for other disruption that could be avoided.”

The director’s remarks echo Theron’s comments in Kyle Buchanan’s 2022 oral history book, Blood, Sweat, and Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road.

Speaking about her strained working relationship with Hardy, the South African star, who played Imperator Furiosa, said: “I don’t want to make excuses for bad behaviour, but it was a tough shoot.

“I was in survival mode; I was really scared s***less. We should not have done that; we should have been better. I can own up to that.”

The book also featured quotes from the film's producers and camera operators, alleging that tensions escalated when Hardy arrived on set three hours late, despite being aware that Theron had arrived early.

Hardy later clarified his behaviour, telling the author: “In hindsight, I was in over my head in many ways. The pressure on both of us was overwhelming at times.

“What [Theron] needed was a better, perhaps more experienced partner in me. I’d like to think that now that I’m older and uglier, I could rise to that occasion.”

Miller’s interview comes ahead of the film franchise’s forthcoming prequel, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa.

Although aware that filming would be difficult, The Menu star revealed that she never felt “more alone” than during filming.