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Charlize Theron Recalls Moment She ‘Didn’t Feel Safe’ on ‘Fury Road,’ Requested Female Producer on Set

"It got to a place where it was kind of out of hand."

Charlize Theron arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "F9: Fast & Furious 9" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Charlize Theron

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Playing warrior Furiosa onscreen proved to be more of a battle than Charlize Theron expected.

The “Mad Max: Fury Road” star revealed that she butted heads with co-star Tom Hardy to the point of requesting producer Denise Di Novi to be on set to ensure there were no future issues.

A particularly explosive argument over Hardy showing up late to work led to Theron slamming the “Dark Knight Rises” alum for being “disrespectful,” according to camera operator Mark Goellnicht, as reported by New York Times writer Kyle Buchanan in his new book, “Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’” excerpted in Vanity Fair.

“[Hardy] was quite aggressive. She really felt threatened, and that was the turning point,” Goellnicht added.

Theron opened up about the tense dynamic on the set of George Miller‘s 2015 prequel film, which was years in the making.

“It got to a place where it was kind of out of hand, and there was a sense that maybe sending a woman producer down could maybe equalize some of it, because I didn’t feel safe,” Theron said. “I kind of put my foot down. George then said, ‘Okay, well, if Denise comes…’ He was open to it and that kind of made me breathe a little bit, because it felt like I would have another woman understanding what I was up against.”

Theron added, “But when I was on set, I still felt pretty naked and alone.”

Hardy and Theron were cast as co-leads Mad Max and Furiosa, respectively, due to their reportedly off-the-charts chemistry during their initial table read. However, those sparks soon fizzled once their admittedly different approaches to acting proved to be incompatible behind-the-scenes.

“Looking back on where we are in the world now, given what happened between me and Tom, it would have been smart for us to bring a female producer in,” Theron continued, citing Miller’s set practices. “You understand the needs of a director who wants to protect his set, but when push comes to shove and things get out of hand, you have to be able to think about that in a bigger sense. That’s where we could have done better, if George trusted that nobody was going to come and fuck with his vision but was just going to come and help mediate situations. I think he didn’t want any interference, and there were several weeks on that movie where I wouldn’t know what was going to come my way, and that’s not necessarily a nice thing to feel when you’re on your job. It was a little bit like walking on thin ice.”

The Oscar winner added, “Because of my own fear, we were putting up walls to protect ourselves instead of saying to each other, ‘Fuck, this is scary for you and it’s scary for me, too. Let’s be nice to each other.’ We were functioning, in a weird way, like our characters: Everything was about survival.”

Director Miller responded to the claims, noting, “There are things that I feel disappointment with about the process. Looking back, if I had to do it again, I would probably be more mindful.”

The Furiosa character is also slated to get her own prequel spinoff with a 2024 release, with Anya Taylor-Joy taking over the role.

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