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'I Didn't Feel Safe': Charlize Theron Needed 'Protection' From Tom Hardy On Mad Max

charlize theron, tom hardy : charlize needed protection from tom on mad max set

Things can get pretty scary when life imitates art!

That seems to be what happened on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road, according to Kyle Buchanan’s new book about the 2015 film, Blood, Sweat and Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road. According to the NY Times reporter — and basically everyone involved with the production he could speak to — stars Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy were at each other’s throats even worse during filming than was rumored! Things actually got so bad that Charlize felt she needed protection for the duration of the shoot!!!

Related: Daniel Radcliffe & Emma Watson Didn’t Speak For Days After MASSIVE Fight On Harry Potter!

Not only did the two lead actors hate each other, but the animosity between them escalated as filming went on. Nicholas Hoult compared the bickering between the two as when the “adults in the front of the car are arguing.” Charlize admitted:

“He’s right, it was like two parents in the front of the car. We were either fighting or we were icing each other–I don’t know which one is worse–and they had to deal with it in the back. It was horrible! We should not have done that; we should have been better. I can own up to that.”

The Oscar winner continued:

“I don’t want to make excuses for bad behavior, but it was a tough shoot. Now, I have a very clear perspective on what went down. I don’t think I had that clarity when we were making the movie. I was in survival mode; I was really scared s**tless. … Because of my own fear, we were putting up walls to protect ourselves instead of saying to each other, ‘F**k, 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.”

The 46-year-old recalled “things kind of came to blows between me and Tom” during one pivotal moment of the shoot. Other crew members remembered the day when the actors were called at 8 AM; Charlize was there and ready in full costume makeup, but the Venom star was three hours late. First camera assistant Ricky Schamburg mused:

“Whether that was some kind of power play or not, I don’t know, but it felt deliberately provocative. If you ask me, he kind of knew that it was really pissing Charlize off, because she’s professional and she turns up really early.”

Tom, who was notoriously late throughout the shoot, walked “casually across the desert” at 11 AM, which infuriated his co-star, camera operator Mark Goellnicht shared:

“She jumps out of the War Rig, and she starts swearing her head off at him, saying, ‘Fine the f**king c**t a hundred thousand dollars for every minute that he’s held up this crew,’ and ‘How disrespectful you are!’ She was right. Full rant. She screams it out. It’s so loud, it’s so windy–he might’ve heard some of it, but he charged up to her up and went, ‘What did you say to me?’

He was quite aggressive. She really felt threatened, and that was the turning point, because then she said, ‘I want someone as protection.’ She then had a producer that was assigned to be with her all the time.”

She really felt she needed protection?! Wow, that’s bad.

Photos: Stars Who Refused To Film Scenes Together

The Bombshell star agreed:

“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.”

She added:

“I kind of put my foot down. [director] George [Miller] then said, ‘Okay, well, if [producer] Denise [Di Novi] 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.”

Unfortunately, Denise wasn’t allowed to join Charlize on set, so their check-ins were limited to the production office. While shooting, the veteran actress “still felt pretty naked and alone.” She reflected:

“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. 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 f**k 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.”

Remarkably, tensions did thaw later in the shoot, according to Kennedy Miller Mitchell Films exec Petrina Hull:

“Overall, the feeling of their relationship did mirror the arc of the characters, and that they had that prickly thing of two people trying to understand each other and clashing and then somehow learning a mutual sort of respect, ultimately. That’s what Max and Furiosa come to in the end: It’s a version of love where you can only really get to regard. It’s not touchy-feely.”

Some crew members, like Gollenicht, chalked the intensity up to Hardy’s “Method” approach. For his part, Miller felt some “disappointment … about the process” and claimed he would “probably be more mindful” if he “had to do it again.”

Related: Wait, Emmy Rossum Is Playing Tom Holland’s MOTHER?! Hollywood Ageism?! 

And as for Mad Max himself? Tom confessed:

“In hindsight, I was in over my head in many ways. 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.”

Wow. All’s well that ends well we guess, and despite the extreme conditions, they created a film that was an instant classic, an awards contender, and an enduring hit. But it sounds like a truly fraught experience! Good for them for being open and honest about it, though!

[Image via WB/YouTube]

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Feb 23, 2022 10:47am PDT