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Charlize Theron says she ‘didn’t feel safe’ on Mad Max: Fury Road set after Tom Hardy feud

‘I was really scared s***less,’ she said

Mad Max: Fury Road
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Charlize Theron has opened up about the bad blood between her and co-star Tom Hardy while on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road.

George Miller’s 2015 sequel may have received huge acclaim and scored 10 Oscar nominations, but things weren’t so smooth behind-the-scenes.

In an excerpt from Kyle Buchanan’s new book, Blood, Sweat, and Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road, which was published by Vanity Fair, Theron spoke candidly about her strained working relationship with co-star Hardy.

“I don’t want to make excuses for bad behaviour, but it was a tough shoot,” Theron, who played Imperator Furiosa, said.

Discussing their interactions, J Houston Yang, editor of production company Open Road Entertainment, said: “They didn’t want to touch each other, they didn’t want to look at each other, they wouldn’t face each other if the camera wasn’t actively rolling.”

Theron, who played Imperator Furiosa in the film, added: “I was in survival mode; I was really scared s***less.”

The boiling point came when Hardy, who addressed Theron’s claims in the book, arrived to set three hours late despite knowing that Theron had arrived early.

Mark Goellnicht, the film’s camera operator, recounted the moment, saying that Theron repeatedly swore at the actor, which prompted him to “charge up to her”.

He says that Theron had shouted: “Fine the f***ing c*** a hundred thousand dollars for every minute that he’s held up this crew.”

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Goellnicht added: “He might’ve heard some of it, but he charged up to her and went, ‘What did you say to me?’ He was quite aggressive.

From that moment onwards, due to feeling “threatened”, Theron was assigned a producer by her side at all times.

“It got to a place where it was kind of out of hand,” Theron said, adding: “I didn’t feel safe.”

Charlize Theron in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Upon Theron’s request, a woman producer named Denise Di Novi was sent to the film’s set in Namibia, with the Oscar-winning star stating: “I don’t want to rehash things, but it came out of a really bad moment where things kind of came to blows between me and Tom.”

She said Di Novi’s arrival “kind of made me breathe a little bit, because it felt like I would have another woman understanding what I was up against”.

Recollecting on the “horrible” experience, Theron said: ”We should not have done that; we should have been better. I can own up to that.”

Hardy acknowledged his behaviour in the excerpt, stating he was “in over [his] head in many ways”.

Tom Hardy in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Director Miller described the film as a story about self-preservation, positing that this mindset really affected the two leads.

Theron shared a similar thought, stating: “We were functioning, in a weird way, like our characters. Everything was about survival.”

The film was a box office hit upon its release, and won six Oscars.

Blood, Sweat, and Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road will be published on 17 March.

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