Charlize Theron: Actors Don’t Need the ‘Trauma’ of Productions Like ‘Fury Road’

"I know I said, 'Oh, as an actor, you want to be challenged,' but you don’t want it to be that bad," Theron said.
Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlize Theron
"Mad Max: Fury Road"

Charlize Theron has no hard feelings over “Mad Max: Fury Road,” but she’s also not holding back, calling out the “fucking tough” production circumstances.

Theron starred as Furiosa opposite Tom Hardy in the 2015 franchise film directed by George Miller. The Oscar winner has since revealed that she butted heads with Hardy so much that she requested producer Denise Di Novi be on set to ensure no future “disrespectful” altercations would not occur with the actor.

Now in The Hollywood Reporter, Theron is addressing the myth that “trauma or sacrifice” must happen on set for a film to be great.

“Listen, I know, I said, ‘Oh, as an actor, you want to be challenged,’ but you don’t want it to be that bad,” Theron said. “It was a long, long shoot. I have never done anything that needed that kind of endurance, and I don’t think I ever will [again].”

The “Bombshell” actress continued, “And I hate saying this because I don’t ever want to encourage young actors or storytellers to believe that they need trauma or sacrifice because I really, really don’t believe you do, but there’s a little bit about the circumstances around that movie that I think gave it the magic. It doesn’t mean it has to always be that, but I do think somehow the lightning in a bottle that you’re always trying to catch happened on that movie. But, man, it was fucking tough.”

Theron noted that she “never really appreciated or respected George Miller’s vision” until she saw the completed film. “[I went], ‘Oh my God, this is what was in his head the whole time and I couldn’t hear it,'” Theron added. “And so it’s the one movie where I go, ‘If I had another opportunity, I’d get a little bit more of what he tried to do in the first one.'”

Theron’s character Furiosa landed a prequel film, with Anya Taylor-Joy taking over the role.

“I don’t know what production on the prequel was like, but I want to believe it was less,” Theron said. “Listen, I’m not mad about [Miller doing a prequel instead of a sequel]. One of the greatest fucking actresses [Anya Taylor-Joy] is picking up something that I only imagined.”

Theron confirmed that Taylor-Joy did not reach out to her before filming “Furiosa,” set for a 2024 release date.

“It’s always tricky. Who wants to pick up the phone and say, like, ‘Hey, we’re going to go do this without you.’ No one wants to do that,” Theron said. “So, I totally get that. And I love George. I know I’ll talk to him again. I think it was just too hard.”

Taylor-Joy told IndieWire that filming the prequel was the “dirtiest and the bloodiest” she’s ever been on set. Coming from Robert Eggers’ “The Witch” and “The Northman,” Taylor-Joy teased, that’s “genuinely saying something.”

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