Charlize Theron ‘really felt threatened’ by Tom Hardy during ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

When Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron first met on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road, they disliked each other on sight. When they began working together, Tom’s “hyper-Method” acting style, habitual disrespect and chronic lateness grated on Charlize’s last nerve. Charlize is the perfectionist and professional who shows up to set early, who treats everyone professionally and respects people’s time. Charlize and Tom were at each other’s throats throughout, basically. It wasn’t even a secret as they were filming in Namibia – people were gossiping about how bad the set felt because of Charlize and Tom’s beef even then.

In the years since Fury Road was released, the film has been recognized as a brilliant modern classic and a feat of filmmaking. Over the years, Charlize and Tom have both addressed their difficult working relationship in interviews and oral histories too. Tom kind of shrugs it off, but Charlize has always been more of a “what did I learn from that horrible experience” kind of person. Well, now there’s a book devoted to the making of Fury Road, called Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road by Kyle Buchanan. Vanity Fair excerpted some stuff about Charlize and Tom’s relationship, and the massive falling out they had during a night shoot, when Tom came out three hours late.

Mark Goellnicht: Eleven o’clock. She’s now in the War Rig, sitting there with her makeup on and a full costume for three hours. Tom turns up, and he walks casually across the desert. She jumps out of the War Rig, and she starts swearing her head off at him, saying, “Fine the f–king c-nt 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.

Charlize Theron: 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.

Charlize Theron: I kind of put my foot down. George then said, “Okay, well, if Denise 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…. She was parked in the production office, and she was checking in with me and we would talk. But when I was on set, I still felt pretty naked and alone.

Charlize Theron: 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.

Tom Hardy (“Max”): 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.

[From Vanity Fair]

In the excerpts, Charlize was open about how scared she was working on this intense production with so many demands. But it’s clear that Tom was the one who was really scared, and I’m sorry, Charlize had every f–king right to be pissed off at him. She had every right to tell him off for being three hours late to set when everyone else was ready to go. The larger problem wasn’t the toxic Charlize-Tom dynamic, it was “why didn’t George Miller or one of the more senior producers check Hardy’s behavior?” It shouldn’t be Charlize’s responsibility to tell Tom that his behavior is toxic and unacceptable. It also shouldn’t be Charlize’s responsibility to request a female producer to be with her because Charlize’s male costar is a hyper-aggressive, unprofessional jackass.

PS… this book also details how all of the “Wives” f–king despised Hardy too. HE was the problem, the problem wasn’t “Charlize and Tom don’t get along,” it was “Hardy doesn’t play well with others, especially women.”

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, promotional image from ‘Fury Road’.

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71 Responses to “Charlize Theron ‘really felt threatened’ by Tom Hardy during ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’”

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  1. NotSoSocialB says:

    Well. What a disappointment.

    Stricken from the Forever Dong/HGF list.

    • GrnieWnie says:

      yup and especially disappointing was his response to Charlize saying she was basically afraid of him. Tom: oh, no, she wasn’t. I’m not scary. She wasn’t afraid, I don’t believe that.

      Cool, cool. We’ve learned nothing.

    • Ry says:

      Yep there goes my crush pounced to a meat splat. Not everyone is who they are at their worst and there are people who grow (up) and learn but the response wasn’t effective for me to say that about this situation.
      I pondered on the “older and uglier” part of what he said and, to me, I suspect she called him a young pretty face type and he was being condescending in his reply.

      • SAS says:

        “Older and uglier” is a fairly stock-standard phrase in the UK for being a more self-deprecating version of “older and wiser”. I’d be surprised if it was a reaction to any self-perception (or comments from Charlize) of not wanting to be perceived as a pretty-boy type actor, rather an attempt to indicate your ego is a bit more in check than in your younger years.

        I don’t buy it unless it comes with a strong, unequivocal apology which I’ve never heard. A shame, I was a Hardy fan and adore Fury Road but this is disgusting.

    • Ashley says:

      You’re not missing much. He was nude in Stuart and it was so tiny it was impossible to see. Hopefully it “grew”. But he’s always seemed like a misogynist so not surprised.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    Tom is a classic example of the actor who thinks he’s a true thespian and method actor. He sucks and is such a try hard “serious” actor. I used to like him and enjoy his work but I’ve known for awhile now that he’s a douche. I like Charlize and am glad that she is able to express herself and share how this experience affected her.

    • Grassroots says:

      To me, he is so unmemorable in everything he is in. He has such a non-descript face for an actor. He is really overrated as an actor.

  3. Becks1 says:

    3 effing hours late? I’d scream at him too. How effing disrespectful to everyone else – your costars, the production staff, everyone.

    Its interesting bc the first person quoted says that she had a producer assigned to be with her at all times after that, but Charlize makes it sound like the person was just in an office and would check in with her at times bc the director didn’t want anyone interfering with his “vision.”

    • Ms single malt says:

      It wasn’t a night shoot. Tom Hardy did not like morning shoots. He was asked to appear at 8am call time but decided to stroll in at 11am.

    • Colby says:

      Lateness is my #1 pet peeve. It makes my blood absolutely boil. What you are saying is “my time is more important than yours” when you are habitually late, or in this case, very late for no reason.

      3 hours late!? I would be through the roof with anger.

      • Jules says:

        Totally. People who are chronically late drive me nuts. It’s all about them and their time. So disrespectful.

      • Lou says:

        I am chronically 5-10 minutes late for things due to my ADHD and I hate it about myself. I curse myself out as I hurry to whoever I’m letting down. I can’t imagine being three hours late for something, much less a work event. I have nightmares about doing that to people.

        His absolute *audacity*, to get in her face for justifiably yelling about his disrespect. He should’ve been profusely apologising to everyone and offering to buy the crew a meal or six.

      • Mac says:

        Making the entire cast and crew wait three hours is incredibly arrogant and self important for a guy who is mediocre at best.

    • Jais says:

      3 hours late when every other crew member that doesn’t get paid nearly as much and probably had a call time even earlier than 8am. Crew members work crazy hours, even more than the stars, and that’s just abusive to everyone.

    • Gruey says:

      We learned a lot about the horrific conditions film crews are subjected to when IATSE was threatening to strike. Film crews are treated as disposable humans who have to give up everything (health, sleep, any kind of social life) for the privilege of being paid shit. A lot of stars are very conscientious of how crew are treated and try to protect them, but many are not. Pretty clear who is which kind of actor in this story.

      • Jjn9310 says:

        I saw this movie. It was boring, too long, and honestly – just expensive trash.
        Tom Hardy – while hot – does seem quite the asshole which is unfortunate. He totally looks like he takes himself too seriously.

    • Eurydice says:

      3 hours late can be a hit on the budget. Your schedule can get backed up and you’re paying for people to stand around and do nothing. Plus, there might be union penalties. I was on one production where the director and DP got into an argument that made everyone 1 1/2 late for lunch break. We had 100 extras for a big party scene, all sweating in costumes, hair wilting, makeup running – and there was a SAG fine for every 15 minutes of lateness.

      • Gruey says:

        Seriously that’s what I was thinking! I would be seething in frustration at something like that. Now add being in a freaking desert location. He’s literally hurting people.

    • Ms single malt says:

      Kaiser mentioned it was a night shoot. (I am not sure if people read the post before making comments.)

  4. Annaloo. says:

    Pig. He’s a pig

  5. Rapunzel says:

    In any other job, 3 hours late would not be tolerated. And what was his frigging excuse?

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      He spat in Armie Hammer’s face too in an audition for this film, so how was Hardy even hired never mind not fired from this set.

      • IncenseBurner says:

        I have no problem w/Hardy spitting in Armie “I want to eat your ribs” Hammer’s face.…

  6. Gobo says:

    I get the impression that the problem was that all the (men) on set who should have been calling him out didn’t want to because “Bro’s look out for each other, amirite?”. Fuck everyone else who was being fucked over by his unprofessional B.S. imagine if a woman was like this on set? She’d never work again.

    • bananapanda says:

      Funny thing is – a majority of the Oscar winners from this movie were women. I remember watching that year and thinking “what a bunch of bad ass women involved in this action film”.

      Shia LaBeouf said Tom Hardy was like a caged gorilla on Lawless and everyone kept away from him. Seems like Charlize was the first to get in his face about his behavior after years of it.

  7. Ummm says:

    This is a guy who on another set, openly put the director in a headlock to showcase to the whole cast and crew who was really in charge. He rarely broke character on that set either.

    • Agirlandherdogs says:

      Seriously?? I had no idea. I’m not a fan of his (and also not a fan of Mad Max -why exactly is it considered some great cinematic masterpiece???), so I don’t know much about him, other than he’s a horrible actor. How does he even get jobs at this point??

      • Lou says:

        Fury Road is unquestionably an impressive cinematic achievement, even if you don’t like the film’s genre. Tom Hardy’s a jerk, but the women are outstanding. I highly recommend watching some behind the scenes stuff about the film. I didn’t care about any of the previous Mad Max films, but Fury Road is a stunner.

  8. FHMom says:

    Wow. That was an uncomfortable read. He is a complete a$$hole. I had no idea. It sounds like the entire crew was treated like sh*t, not just Charlize, but especially her. He really should have been fired. I don’t think he did anything in that movie that another actor could not have done.

    • lucy2 says:

      I barely remember he was the guy in it, it was Charlize’s movie for sure. She’s what I think of when someone mentions it, and she was fantastic.
      And yet he’s the one getting to be in all the sequels…

      • ArtHistorian says:

        I also read elsewhere that he was paid more than Charlize! Which is ridiculous! She was the star of the movie and an Oscar winner and overall more famous, yet she was paid less than this guy who has a rep for being unprofessional. This is so infuriating.

  9. Normades says:

    I always pegged Hardy as a total douche. Sorry but have you seen the way he dresses? Worst douche bag taste ever.

    Of course Charlize is a professional. That movie is insane. I saw it in the theater and it was literally nuts. But she was so good in it. Really capable of conveying pure emotion in a totally crazy setting. He was meh.

  10. TIFFANY says:

    Tom acts exactly like the trust fund kid he is who never suffered consequences.

    What is amazing is the type of projects he has done since Mad Max.

    He ain’t getting first pick of the a list projects anymore. That is telling.

    • Lemons says:

      I don’t know if he isn’t working as much by choice, but he still has an enviable filmography…
      BUT I think directors and producers are learning that Hardy is not a leading man and won’t bring people to theaters. He doesn’t have THAT quality and it shows by how he treats others on set.

      Tom Cruise can be brutal on set, but everyone understands why…he is working at a very high level and wants everyone to be on the same level.

      Tom Hardy is just a lazy jerk who uses method acting as an excuse to be a d–k to his coworkers. He’s also not bringing in Tom Cruise-level box office numbers.

      • Coopy says:

        Tom cruise is also nice to the crew. Same for a famous method actor like Daniel Day Lewis
        I have friends who have worked with both and despite Tom cruise sketchiness in other areas of his life, he’s a consummate professional who treats the crew with respect.

        And I am sorry but hardy wasn’t a kid on this movie he was in his 30s and he’s a trained actor, he knew very well being 3 hours late isn’t acceptable.

    • Ollie says:

      Tom Hardy is an UNBELIEVABLE jerk and being a “trust fund baby” is no excuse or explanation. Lots of stars who grew up privileged are known to treat co-workers with respect and dignity— think of Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julia Louis-Dreyfus….

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Tiffany, he’s the lead in Venom, how is that exactly a ‘minor ‘ movie?

      The ‘bros gotta be bros’ rule still apply to him in the industry and for my liking he still has too much power given he’s been a notorious a-hole since he started.

  11. lucy2 says:

    3 hours late is just so disrespectful of every single person’s time. Completely. I don’t blame her for losing it, and I wonder why she was the one to do it, not the director or producers, who should have been the ones on top of it.
    And he can stop with the “I was over my head, she deserved someone with more experience” BS. He was steadily working for well over a decade before he did that film, including on 2 big action films, Inception and the Dark Knight Rises. He wasn’t some newbie who didn’t know what to do, and even if he were, the first rule should be be on time and prepared.

  12. K.+Tate says:

    Maybe I’m looking at this wrong? He was late, she was rightfully upset, she yelled at him, he yelled back. She’s the only one that gets to be angry?

    • DeltaJuliet says:

      If you show up three hours late you’d better be apologetic and contrite, not entitled and yelling.

    • Yorkies says:

      I believe there were months worth of issues on the shoot IIRC, but I see your point, if you are going to scream and rant at someone calling them a cunt, you don’t get to act surprised when they don’t take it well.
      Well he deserved it does not excuse a tirade. Having said that, I can see myself behaving much the same way, I am sure she had worked up a pretty towering rage sitting in that car for three hours and she let him wear it.

    • MF says:

      I read somewhere, can’t remember where, that when she screamed at him for being late, he sort of charged at her, i.e. he was being physically aggressive and that’s why she felt afraid.

      If that was the case, then yeah, he’s definitely in the wrong here.

    • Anne says:

      @K.+Tate — the answer to your question is “yes, you are looking at this wrong 100%.”

      Between the two of them, SHE is the only one who gets to be angry. He was 3 hours late, disrespecting her time, the crew’s time, and every single person on that set who waited for him to swan in whenever he felt like it.

  13. Lucía says:

    This film is a masterpiece and he’s a great talent. On screen they made a great team, the two of them. It makes me sad that he felt the need to put everyone else in such tense situations. I understand the shooting was tough, but no one else seems to have had that behaviour.

  14. Steph says:

    Male actors get away with murder and their career is unscathed. They can throw their weight around, be unprofessional and nothing happens to them. Jared Leto and Shia LaBeouf are recent ones that come to mind. With Shia it took his exes to expose him.

    • FF says:

      White male actors get away with murder on sets (fixed it for you). Case in point Shia LaBeouf knocked Hardy out and drunkenly terrorized Mia Wasikowska on the set of Lawless.

      Yet these guys still get work.

      You have a******s like Michael Weatherly still getting work while Jessica Alba’s still getting called a b*tch for stuff that happened 20 years ago that she apologized for.

      Theron got replaced with a younger actress the minute they made her Furiosa character the headliner. Yet Hardy’s still headlining just fine.

      Hollywood is a construct made to venerate white guys. I’m guessing all of the awards post-Fury road were of the placating in the aftermath kind where they hope no one makes waves so business can continue as usual.

  15. Lady Digby says:

    This reminds me of an anecdote about how Mike Douglas as co star and producer how to straighten out Val Killmer on the set of The Ghost and the Darkness. Val was skulking in his trailer keeping everybody waiting in the hot sun on location including hundreds of extras and animal trainers plus lions for hours. Let’s just say Mike gave him a motivational chat about his professional obligations and he got back into line. If Tom Hardy wants to remain employed and have a long career it pays to be talented and professional like Michael Caine.

  16. FlachamBoden says:

    I just saw comments about this incident on another channel and the people in the comments were all about how Charrlize is a bitch and what a great guy Tom is. It is so infuriating. Seriously if someone is late for 3 hours I would lose my mind. Tom sounds like an awful person on set.

    • Coco says:

      Not surprised that toxic men hate it when a woman stands up for herself because of course in their eyes she should’ve just been happy he showed up at all.

      But if the roles were reversed and Charlize what is three hours late they would call her unprofessional and Tom would be within his rights to yell at her.

  17. AnneL says:

    Wow, that is really disappointing. I love Charlize and have mad respect for her. But I also think Tom Hardy is really gifted. He’s amazing on “Peaky Blinders.” So sorry to hear that he’s a douche!! I also really like his wife, Charlotte Riley. She had a role on Peaky Blinders too, Mae Carlton. I loved that character.

    Lateness is absolutely a pet peeve of mine. I don’t understand how people can think it’s OK to just be late all the time. You’re an adult. Manage your time, and respect other peoples too.

  18. Coopy says:

    Rumour is that Hardy was thrown out of drama school for some kind of aggression issue. Apparently this type of behaviour goes back to his youth so I don’t know about the whole I am older and wise act . It seems like he’s always been difficult, but at the time he came up this type of behaviour was excused as method and “artiste” behaviour. The funny thing is I know people who worked with Daniel day Lewis and they only say nice things about him. So I don’t know why all the DDL method disciples thinks holding a movie set hostage is the thing to do.

  19. JRenee says:

    How comfortable he felt trying to invalidate her feelings, mansplaining yet again. Smdh!

  20. TeamAwesome says:

    Let’s not forget that Charlize grew up around domestic violence and was there the night her mother shot Charlize’s father in self defense. To have a coworker act like that? If a woman had acted like that on set, she’d probably never work again.

    • Therese says:

      TeamAwsome, I was just scrolling down to say that Charlene has horrendous violence in her past. I can imagine that aggression from men would scare her. I think her dad was drunk and breaking her bedroom door in threatening to kill her? Her mom shot him dead. You don’t get over something like that.

  21. DaniLou says:

    There were major issues with him on the set of The Revenant too. I think if I recall he had to be pulled off the director and was just incredible difficult to work with. Definitely not a once off incident with him.

  22. TEALIEF says:

    It comes down to respect. He disrespected everyone on the set by not showing up on time. 15-20 minutes is considered late in every classroom and every professional workspace. In a professional environment and relationship, I don’t need to like the person to work with them. Yes, it makes it easier, but I do have to respect their work ethic, work product, and whatever else of value they bring. I’ve worked with men like this with their alpha male bs. I call them on their bs because one should never cede ground on proper practices, codes of conduct, and from where it springs, good manners. As for Hardy as an actor, he’s a mumbler, e.g. The Revenant. I gave up trying to understand whatever came out his mouth, and now go in with the understanding I may not understand him.

  23. Beech says:

    Oh God, The Revanant! I didn’t understand a single goddamned word he said.

  24. Kim says:

    I freaking hate habitually late people. It’s disrespectful, period. It’s not a cute personality flaw.

  25. Jaded says:

    I think part of his unconscionable behavior towards top female actors like Charlize is that he is flat out jealous and can’t stand the competition. Being *method* is his excuse for being an entitled, misogynistic punk.

  26. Deering24 says:

    I’ve never seen his appeal or thought his performances were all that, so this doesn’t surprise me at all.

  27. Spike says:

    I just read the article. Paul Mitchell, a producer, blocked Charlize’s female liaison from the set.

    George Miller, the director didn’t want anyone to interfere with his “vision”. A stupid film is not more important than Charlize’s safety.

    The blame for the entire situation lies at Miller’s feet. Rather than protecting Charlize he ran to his buddy Paul to sabotage the agreed upon solution. He treated the situation with Hardy with a “boys will be boys” attitude.

    I had the impression that Miller was a good director; now not so much.