'There's no excuse for it.' What happened between Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy.

Mad Max: Fury Road became an instant cult classic after its release in 2015, securing six of its 10 Oscar nominations. 

However, while things appeared to be running smoothly on screen, there were bitter tensions and unexpected feuds unfolding behind the scenes. 

Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy starred alongside each other in the film, and while their on-screen energy may have been magnetic, the two reportedly refused to "look at each other" when the cameras weren't rolling. 

Watch Celebrities, on their Oscar speeches. Post continues after video. 

Video via Supplied.

Now, director George Miller has shed light on the rumoured feud, sharing insights into what might have caused tensions between the two while filming in the Namibia desert.

Speaking to the UK's Telegraph, Miller initially said, "They were just two very different performers."

However, he later revealed, "Tom has a damage to him but also a brilliance that comes with it, and whatever was going on with him at the time, he had to be coaxed out of his trailer. Whereas Charlize was incredibly disciplined — a dancer by training, which told in the precision of her performance — and always the first one on set."

Having a job to do, Miller tried his best to find the good in an otherwise bad situation and compared their real-life differences to the tension their characters showed on-screen.


"I’m an optimist, so I saw their behaviour as mirroring their characters, where they had to learn to co-operate in order to ensure mutual survival," said Miller.

"There’s no excuse for it, and I think there’s a tendency in this business to use great performances as an excuse for other disruption that could be avoided."

This isn't the first time the feud has been brought to light. In fact, pop culture reporter Kyle Buchanan wrote about it in detail in his book, Blood, Sweat, and Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road.

A small part of the memoir was published to Vanity Fair and in it, Theron spoke openly about her tense working relationship with Hardy. 

Here are some standout moments. 

Charlize Theron on working with Tom Hardy.

"I don’t want to make excuses for bad behaviour, but it was a tough shoot," she explained. 

In the film, the actor starred as Imperator Furiosa, while Hardy portrayed the character of Max Rockatansky.

Mad Max: Fury Road. Image: Warner Bros Pictures. 


Editor of the production company Open Road Entertainment, J Houston Yang, claims the two "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 said throughout the duration of filming she was "in survival mode; I was really scared s**tless."

But there was a definitive moment where Hardy and Theron's feud came to a boiling point. 

The book alleges Theron was furious when Hardy showed up to set three hours late, and was aware that his co-star had arrived early.

According to the film's camera operator Mark Goellnicht, Theron shouted: "Fine the f**king c**t a hundred thousand dollars for every minute that he’s held up this crew."

At the time, it was noted that Theron was a new mother, and "just wanted to get to set, work, and take care of her kid". He went on to recall that Hardy "charged up at her" after Theron repeatedly swore at her co-star.

"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," Goellnicht said.


The situation left Theron feeling "threatened" and was then assigned a female producer to stay with her at all times. 

"It got to a place where it was kind of out of hand," she said. "I didn’t feel safe."

The producer, named Denise Di Novi, was flown to the film's set in Namibia. Having her around reportedly allowed the Oscar-winning star to "breathe" again. 

"It felt like I would have another woman understanding what I was up against," she said. 

Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy looking back at their Mad Max experience.

The "horrible" experience was one that left Theron regretting her actions, stating: "We should not have done that; we should have been better. I can own up to that." 

In regards to Hardy, he acknowledged his behaviour, saying in the excerpt that he was "in over [his] 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," he said. "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."

Mad Max: Fury Road. Image: Jasin Boland / Warner Bros. / Allstar.  


Miller shared his perception of life on set, saying that the film had deeply affected the mindset of both Theron and Hardy, who were deep in the trenches of self-preservation.

"If it’s an advantage to you to kill another character, then you should do it and you don’t think twice about it. I think that crept into the actors." he said.

Theron felt the same, saying: "We were functioning, in a weird way, like our characters. Everything was about survival."

"I have a very clear perspective on what went down [now]. I don’t think I had that clarity when we were making the movie."

This story was originally published on February 24, 2022, and has since been updated with new information.

Feature Image: Getty / Mamamia.

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