Tom Hardy Charlize Theron Fury Road Movie Star Feuds

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga director George Miller says the film was much easier to make than 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road — in part because everyone got along.

In our new cover story about the making of Furiosa, the mastermind of the Mad Max universe talks about the technological improvements that made Furiosa a pleasurable filmmaking experience — the ease of digitally removing safety harnesses allows for cooler stunts, for example. But the film was also an easier experience because leads Anya-Taylor Joy, who plays young Furiosa, and Chris Hemsworth, who plays the warlord Dementus, were on such good terms.

That was not the case with Fury Road, a film bedeviled with problems at every turn. They included a major personality clash between Tom Hardy, who played Max, and Charlize Theron, who played Furiosa. Miller pointed out that they well documented in Kyle Buchanan’s 2022 book Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road.

“I think Tom felt bewildered by the role, as is well documented in the book,” Miller said in our cover story. “Charlize was always first on set, no matter what. And Tom was always the last on set. Even in that simple behavior, you’ve got the basic conflict which threatened to really undermine the production.”

What Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy Say About Their Fury Road Feud

Buchanan’s book quotes Theron saying she and Hardy’s dynamic “was like two parents in the front of the car. We were either fighting or we were icing each other — I don’t know which one is worse — and they had to deal with it in the back. It was horrible! We should not have done that; we should have been better. I can own up to that.”

Hardy, meanwhile, also took responsibility. He said in the book: “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.”

Miller told us in our cover story that Theron and Hardy’s feud was only one of the problems with Fury Road, which was also delayed by Mel Gibson’s troubles — which ruined the chances of him starring in the film — as well as leadership changes at Warner Bros. during the process of getting the film made.

For all the hardship in the making of Fury Road, you can’t argue with the results: Fury Road won six Oscars and was nominated for four more, including for Best Picture and Best Director, while earning more than $380 million at the box office, by far the most for a Mad Max film.

As for Furiosa, hopes are high, and feelings are good.

“This was, I think, head and shoulders above any experience I’ve had on a set — working not only on something that was creatively fulfilling, but working with an individual who was inspiring and kind and passionate — it made me certainly go, This is how I want to spend my days,” Hemsworth told MovieMaker. “And anything short of that would feel like a miss, you know? The bar’s been raised now and I’m gonna have to work pretty hard to have an experience like that again. But that’s what I’m hoping for and aiming for.”

Taylor-Joy adds: “George is the gentlest, sweetest man, and a complete genius. It’s wonderful to work with him because he’ll have one idea, he’ll connect it to everything and just weave this tapestry together. And Chris and I had a really good time.”

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga arrives in theaters May 24, from Warner Bros Pictures.

Main image: A publicity still for Mad Max: Fury Road. Warner Bros.

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