The new Mad Max film is already being hailed as an epic – but for its star, the scale of the movie risked fraying his temper over frustrations at not being able to understand what he was working on.
Tom Hardy has admitted he got grumpy on the shoot because he had no idea what director George Miller was trying to do – and felt he had to apologise when he finally saw the “brilliant” end result.
The combination of the speed of working and scale and safety concerns on the production, which involved 3,500 storyboards, 450 hours of material and 6,000 hours of editing, meant he spent hours in the Namibian desert pondering his options because “there was no way George could explain what he could see”.
Tom Hardy on screen
Tom Hardy on screen
1/5 Warrior, 2011
Tom Hardy (left) plays the son of an alcoholic former boxer played by Joel Edgerton (right) in 2011 film 'Warrior'
2/5 The Dark Knight Rises, 2012
Tom Hardy as Bane in a scene from the action thriller 'The Dark Knight Rises', 2012
3/5 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 2011
Tom Hardy plays British intelligence officer Ricki Tarr in 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'
4/5 This Means Warm, 2012
Tom Hardy plays CIA operative Tuck in 2012 film 'This Means War'
5/5 Locke, 2013
Tom Hardy plays a Welsh building site manager in 2013 thriller 'Locke'
Speaking as Mad Max: Fury Road received its European premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Hardy said: “For seven months, I think the most complicated part for me and the most frustrating thing for me and the hardest part was knowing what George wanted me to do at any given minute so I could fully transmute his vision.”
“There wasn’t a day when I didn’t think, ‘You’re crazy doing this’,” said the 37-year-old star of The Dark Knight Rises, who had to overcome his fear of heights for the film. “I knew it was brilliant but I didn’t quite know how brilliant until I saw it. My first reaction was to apologise for being so grumpy. I love George and I felt I owed him an apology.”
Meanwhile, Salma Hayek, star of Tale of Tales, from Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone, revealed she had challenges of her own on the Italian shoot for the adaptation of 17th-century Neapolitan fairy-tales.
Not only did all her dresses weigh at least 30 kilos, but she was forced to eat a “disgusting” creation of a sea monster’s heart made of pasty and candy. Her daughter, Valentina, who realised she was gagging, advised her to eat from the front and spit it out at the back which would not be visible on camera. “She saved my life.”Reuse content