Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron did not get on while making Mad Max: Fury Road; that’s well documented. Now, though, we have an account of why the pair fell out while making the action movie has been revealed, courtesy of Blood, Sweat & Chrome, an oral history documenting the film’s production.
According to several sources interviewed for the book [Via Variety], the friction began because Hardy was frequently late to set despite requests he be there early. Theron reportedly became so frustrated with the situation that one day she called him out on his poor behaviour labelling him disrespectful.
“The call on set was eight o’clock,” Mark Goellnicht, a camera operator on the film, said. “Charlize got there right at eight o’clock, sat in the War Rig, knowing that Tom’s never going to be there at eight even though they made a special request for him to be there on time. He was notorious for never being on time in the morning. If the call time was in the morning, forget it — he didn’t show up.”
When Hardy eventually did arrive, three hours late, Theron could not contain her ire and let rip. “She jumps out of the War Rig, and she starts swearing her head off at him, saying, ‘Fine the fucking cunt a hundred thousand dollars for every minute that he’s held up this crew,’ and ‘How disrespectful you are!'” Goellnicht shared. “She was right. Full rant. She screams it out. It’s so loud, it’s so windy — he might’ve heard some of it, but he charged up to her and went, ‘What did you say to me?
The pair reportedly got quite aggressive with each other, necessitating producers step in and mediate the situation. Denise Di Novi was dispatched to the desert where they were filming to make sure there were no more arguments.
“It got to a place where it was kind of out of hand,” Theron explains in the book. “There was a sense that maybe sending a woman producer down could maybe equalise some of it because I didn’t feel safe.” Director George Miller agreed that Di Novi could come to set to back Theron up.
For his part, Hardy has realised his behaviour was inappropriate and blamed his anger at being “in over his head”. In hindsight, I was in over my head in many ways. The pressure on both of us was overwhelming at times,” he said. “What she 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.”
Despite its leads disliking each other, Mad Max: Fury Road was a huge success garnering critical acclaim and dominating the box office. If you enjoy the desolate wasteland of the not so far-flung future, check out our list of the best disaster movies.