While “Mad Max: Fury Road” became one of the best reviewed movies of last year, with George Miller‘s visionary blockbuster going on to take home an armload of Oscars, it was no easy ride to the big screen. The production was an arduous one, not only because of the delays and unpredictable weather on location in Namibia, but also because of the reported battles between the film’s leads, Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. It was a topic that remained at the fringes of the conversation about the movie when it was released, but no one denied it either.
When asked a few months after filming had wrapped, Hardy played down the friction with his co-star, saying “I think she’s fucking awesome. I think she’s incredible. I think she’s one of the most talented actresses of our generation.” However, he did acknowledge he probably wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around, and publicly apologized to Miller at Cannes last spring.
“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,” Hardy said last May. “Because he’s orchestrating such a huge vehicle, literally, in so many departments, because all the vehicles are moving and the whole movie is just motion, I have to apologize to you 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.”
Now, Theron has shared her side of the story of what went down during the making of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and admits she and Hardy didn’t see eye-to-eye, though it may have ultimately helped the picture in the end.
“From what I hear, he’s not like that on every movie — I hear he’s had good experiences,” she quipped to The Wall Street Journal. “Maybe the movie is what it is because we struggled so much with each other, and those characters had to struggle so much with each other. If we were chum-chum, maybe the movie would have been 10 times worse.”
In the same article, Miller more or less agrees with that assessment. “I’m not saying that they were seething right through, but the trajectory of the characters can’t help but seep into the work,” the director said. “When [the characters] first meet each other, they’re trying to kill each other. As the two characters come together out of necessity and rather reluctantly, they have to find a degree of trust. And to some extent that was the trajectory of their relationship as well.”
What is quite interesting is that like Hardy, Theron was also concerned about living up to Miller’s vision. “I don’t think I had doubts, but I had fears. I chased after it so hard, just based on storyboards [the film didn’t have an actual script],” she admits. “I never doubted George’s idea, but I had a lot of fear that I was never going to be able to do what he wanted or needed, because I had so little to work with.”
Well, both Hardy and Theron pulled it off and helped Miller realize one of the best action movies in years. As for any sequels, Miller is going to do a small-scale movie first, and as for Furiosa, it’s perhaps not surprising she’s not currently signed on for any more ‘Mad Max’ movies.