Months before critics finally got to see George Miller’s 12-year planned fourth entry into the "Mad Max" franchise, rumors were floating around that the grueling 120 day shoot in Africa’s Namib desert took a toll on the film’s two principal players — Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron — and that as a result, the duo were at odds for most of the filming.
The two, along with their filmmaker, co-star Nicholas Hoult and editor Margaret Sixel all reunited for today’s Cannes press conference ahead of tonight’s Out of Competition screening for the action film, where Hardy addressed the speculation in the form of a touching apology. Hardy and Theron, sitting at opposite sides of Miller, didn’t look at each other during the run of the conference.
Prompted by a journalist who asked the cast what it was like to see Miller’s vision brought to the screen in all its glory, Hardy said that he finally "got what George was talking about. "For seven months, I think the most complicated or most frustrating thing was trying to know what George wanted me to do at any given minute so I could fully transmute his vision.
"Because he’s orchestrating such a huge vehicle, literally, in so many departments, because the all the vehicles are moving and the whole movie is just motion, I have to apologize to you [looking at Miller] because I got frustrated. There was no way that George could have explained what he could see in the sand when we were out there… I knew he was brilliant, but I didn’t quite know how brilliant."
Likely inspired by Hardy’s heartfelt act, Miller, unprompted by a question from the press, paid tribute to his actors.
"Normally there’s a master scene, there’s dialogue, you can block out the scene," he said. "But this is made up of so many small fragments that by the time you say action, three seconds go by then you say cut, so it’s very hard for people to get into that; there’s no continuity. Acting is athletic. To ask a runner or a football player to keep stopping and starting again, it gets really tough. I just want to acknowledge that I was very aware of that — I’ve never really told [the cast]."