That the relationship between Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron was not the most relaxed on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road has long been known.
Now, however, new details emerge from the book Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road by Kyle Buchanan , in particular regarding an episode in which the tension between the two almost exploded into something worse.
It is cameraman Mark Goellnicht who first describes the scene:
I distinctly remember that day. The call to the set was for eight in the morning. Charlize arrived at eight sharp and sat down in the tanker, knowing full well that Tom would never show up at eight even if they made a special request to be there in time. He was known for never arriving on time in the morning. If the call was for the morning, there was no way, it didn’t come.
Hardy shows up three hours later, and first assistant cameraman Ricky Schamburg is a “deliberately provocative” move. Theron, meanwhile, remained sitting in the tanker with makeup and costume on. At that point she no longer sees us. She explains Goellnicht:
He jumps out of the tanker and starts cursing him with all his might, saying, “Fine this damn s ***** or $ 100,000 for every minute this crew has held down” and “How disrespectful you are!”. He was right. A long invective. She yells at him all. It makes a lot of noise, but there is a lot of wind: he may have heard something, but he threw himself on her saying “What did you tell me?” […]. He was quite aggressive. She really felt threatened, and that was a turning point.
Both stars reflect on what happened today, admitting that they have part of the blame. Charlize Theron states:
I don’t want to justify misbehaving, but it was difficult shooting. Today I have a very clear perspective on what happened. But I don’t think I had this clarity when we were making the film. I was in survival mode; I was scared to death.
Because of my fear, we were building walls to protect ourselves instead of saying, “F ** k, this thing is as scary for you as it is for me. Let’s try to be kind to each other ”. We were functioning, strangely, like our characters: the first thing was to survive.
Tom Hardy comments:
In hindsight, the situation was out of my reach in many ways. The pressure on both of them was overwhelming at certain moments. She would need a better and more experienced partner than me… I like to think that now that I’m older and uglier, I can give my best.