Mad Max’s George Miller Reflects On Charlize Theron And Tom Hardy’s Infamous Feud

 Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Mad Max: Fury Road is easily one of the most stunning films to hit the silver screen within the past decade. George Miller’s post-apocalyptic vision is still an excellent action movie, and what partially makes it so great is the chemistry between the leads, Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Given that, many were likely surprised when it was revealed years ago that the two A-listers didn’t get along amid production. Various alleged details on the matter have been shared at this point. Now, Miller himself is sharing what he can recollect of the feud between the two actors.

In the 2015 blockbuster, Tom Hardy played eponymous antihero Max Rockatansky while Charlize Theron played his on-screen ally, Imperator Furiosa. Because of that, the pair worked together quite a bit on the massive undertaking. George Miller, who’s currently promoting the Furiosa prequel, spoke to The Telegraph UK about what it was like working with both of them. The 79-year-old filmmaker described them as being performers who operate in “different” ways. Miller described what exactly he means by that:

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

It’s hard to say exactly what caused Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy’s beef. However,  co-star Zoë Kravitz would partially chalk it up to the cast and crew being generally isolated together for months in the desert for production. What has been said, though, is that the breaking point for the squabble between the two co-stars happened when Hardy arrived to set three hours late on a particular day. When he finally arrived, Theron allegedly confronted him and began cursing at him. From there, Hardy apparently became “aggressive,” so much so that it led to Theron asking for someone to accompany her at all times when she was on set.

George Miller said during his recent interview that he attempted to remain upbeat amid the drama. It’s for that reason that he ultimately put a more positive spin on it, which involved the notion of life imitating life in some respect. The Oscar winner explained his rationale, sharing the following:

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. 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 Mad Max: Fury Road cast members have commented on their working relationship as well in the years since they filmed the movie. In 2016, Charlize Theron admitted to not getting along with her co-star, though she also surmised that “if we were chum-chum, maybe the movie would have been 10 times worse.” She also said that she didn’t have enough “empathy” for the pressure Tom Hardy was facing. For his part, Hardy expressed regrets, saying that what Theron “needed was a better, perhaps more experienced, partner in [him].” Hindsight is definitely 20/20 and, while what happened on that set years ago can’t be undone, the two stars – and even George Miller – can reflect and learn from it all.

You can stream the greatness that is Mad Max: Fury Road using a Max subscription. It’ll be a great way to prep for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, which opens in theaters on May 24 as part of the 2024 movie schedule.