Most movie fans would agree that Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best action movies of the past decade, due in large part to not just the spectacular stunts, but also the chemistry between stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, who recently opened up to The New York Times about the clashes they had on set. The film famously had a troubled shoot, largely thanks to the sheer ambition of director George Miller, yet all that effort seemingly paid off, as the 2015 film went on to earn more Academy Award nominations that year than any other film.
One major point of tension between the two was sparked by the complex and technical nature of the shoot and the things that needed to be pulled off for a scene to work, including putting in a compelling performance.
"Because of how much detail we were having to process and how little control one had in each new situation, and how fast the takes were -- tiny snippets of story moments were needed to make the final cut work -- we moved fast, and it was at times overwhelming," Hardy confessed. "One had to trust that the bigger picture was being held together."
Adding even more pressure to the situation was the fact that Hardy was taking on a role made famous by Mel Gibson in the original trilogy.
"In retrospect, I didn't have enough empathy to really, truly understand what he must have felt like to step into Mel Gibson's shoes," Theron expressed. "That is frightening! And I think because of my own fear, we were putting up walls to protect ourselves instead of saying to each other, 'This is scary for you, and it's scary for me, too. Let's be nice to each other.' In a weird way, we were functioning like our characters: Everything was about survival."
Hardy echoed those comments, while also noting that his age has made him only more interested in reviving the character.
"I think in hindsight, I was in over my head in many ways," the actor admitted. "The pressure on both of us was overwhelming at times. What she needed was a better, perhaps more experienced, partner in me. That's something that can't be faked. I'd like to think that now that I'm older and uglier, I could rise to that occasion."
Despite those tensions on set, the pair have regularly expressed their admiration for one another publicly and put those conflicts behind them as soon as the film was headed to theaters. Miller is reportedly still working on the franchise, which is said to include sequels and a spinoff focusing on Theron's Furiosa.
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