Charlize Theron felt threatened by Tom Hardy on Mad Max film

By Alexandra Heilbron on February 23, 2022 | 16 Comments

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road. Photo by Jasin Boland / Warner Bros. During filming of Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlize Theron, who played renegade warrior Furiosa, felt so threatened by her co-star Tom Hardy when he became aggressive, that she asked for on-set protection.

The new book Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road details the on-set tension between the two stars. The author, Kyle Buchanan, interviewed the actors and crew members of the film and discovered how Hardy’s actions sparked an incident that left Theron “scared sh**tless.”

Hardy, who gained a reputation for being late, was given a “special request” to be on time on one particular morning. By the time he turned up, more than three hours late, Theron was livid. “How disrespectful are you?” she asked Hardy angrily. She then shouted, “Fine the f***ing c*** a hundred thousand dollars for every minute that he’s held up this crew.”

Camera operator Mark Goellnicht recalled, “He charged up to her 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.'”

First assistant camera Ricky Schamburg said Hardy’s decision to turn up late “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.”

Theron remembered, “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… I was in survival mode; I was really scared sh**less.”

Producer Denise Di Novi was flown from Los Angeles to Namibia, but was barred from the set. Charlize explained, “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 [De Novi] was just going to come and help mediate situations.”

Director George Miller spoke about what happened, saying, “Looking back, if I had to do it again, I would probably be more mindful.”

Although the situation was tense, the crew sided with Theron. Assistant cameraman Ricky Schamburg said, “Tom is very provocative. Charlize isn’t,” while key second assistant director Samantha McGrady added, “Charlize is the easiest person to deal with.”

Hardy conceded, saying he 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.”

Mad Max: Fury Road won six Oscars in technical categories, while Theron and Hardy both won Critics Choice Awards.

Miller has written and will direct a movie based on Furiosa, telling the origin story of the character before she met Mad Max. It stars Anya Taylor-Joy as the younger version of Theron’s character and is scheduled to hit theaters in 2024. ~Alexandra Heilbron 

Comments & Discussion

  1. Rowan • February 23, 2022 @ 4:17 PM

    In any other industry, a guy would be fired for coming in three hours late on a day when he’s been warned to get there on time because he’s been late so often he has to be reminded like an eight year old. And then threatening a female co-worker (who has seniority, I mean she’s way more famous, she’s an Oscar winner and has been acting for way longer than he has) so badly that she feels she needs security? Charlize should’ve gotten a gigantic security guard or a Rottweiler instead of a woman producer. But again, was the woman producer kept out because she was a woman? George Miller should have had his feet to the fire for a) putting Charlize in that position and b) keeping the one person she needed so she could feel safe, off the set.

  2. R • February 24, 2022 @ 9:40 AM

    Damn… I used to like Charlize a lot, but I just can’t stand whining bullies.
    She felt threatened? Well, she just called that guy a c*nt! Besides, her feelings are her own problem. If he had touched her, even if provoked, that would be a different story, but here she’s insulting a bloke (meritoriously) and then expects no repercussions. Classic new wave “feminist”. If a guy calls another guy that, there might be punches throw… Equality means equality in all aspects.
    And yeah, I’m sure Tom was a jerk and should have been reprimanded/fined for being late.

  3. Nora Dolan • February 24, 2022 @ 10:20 AM

    Maybe don’t run your mouth if you don’t want to feel “threatened”? Stop whinging.

  4. Gus • February 24, 2022 @ 10:55 AM

    Exactly Nora.
    Don’t run your mouth insulting him and expect nothing to happen and play the victim card because, your feelings were hurt????
    F*** off.

  5. Yawnie13 • February 24, 2022 @ 11:19 AM

    Wow. Hardy showing up late is one thing. For Theron to attack him, call him names and throw expletives at him makes her no more of a professional. And then to claim she feared for her safety. He didn’t hit, push or throw expletives at her. Actions have consequences. Hardy’s towards her were a lot less volatile.
    The egos on some people. I’ve never liked either one but both parties should have been replaced.

  6. Jay Hoo • February 24, 2022 @ 1:24 PM

    So the woman tells off the guy suggesting that the producer charges him for a hefty amount of money for every minute he’s late, calls him an F-ing coont, then feels “threatened” when he calls her out for it? Typcial woman crying wolf. Stfu Theron. Lost a former fan here too.

  7. VJT • February 24, 2022 @ 2:11 PM

    Wow…I cannot believe the comments saying Charlize is at fault…who Tom Hardy was chronically late..was asked to be on time…shows up 3 hours late…is called out for it in quite specific terms and the person calling him out is called a whiner?
    He should have been fired and another actor brought in…he had no right to disrupt hundreds of others with his selfishness..

  8. Dona McQuarrie • February 24, 2022 @ 3:00 PM

    Tom Hardy’s antics and behaviour totally unacceptable, completely disrespectful and downright UGLY. Only bully there was him!! What kind of Diva does he think he is? !! His actions were deliberate and petulant and he had no reason to threaten abuse because he deserved a “spanking”. I would not hire him for sour candy commercials!!! Charlize’s out burst showed how upset and frustrated she and the crew felt & it just came out.

  9. Laura • February 24, 2022 @ 4:58 PM

    I have no respect for lateness of any kind & I may think twice now onwards about whether I’m even interested in watching a movie in which Tom Hardy is in because of his lateness.

  10. Giff • February 24, 2022 @ 7:09 PM

    Interesting comments here probably mostly from men who have a small penis. He was completely unprofessional continuously and would have been fired anywhere else. Not only was he being an asshole to her he was being an asshole to the entire crew. And they usually do charge actors for being late but I’m sure they were too scared shiftless of him to do so. And they wouldn’t let the female producer come on site. So stop crying little boys, and this “what if she was a woman” blah blah blah bullshit. You’re only commenting because she is a woman. In turn if a woman was always late you would say tell her off and fire her ass.

  11. Chrys • February 25, 2022 @ 2:38 AM

    Wow, Charlize..
    1) two wrongs NEVER make a right;
    2) had you not tried to behave like a manic, aggressive bully YOURSELF, Tom likely never would have moved/acted/spoke as he did…YOU started it, get control of yourself!

  12. Daniel Schneider • February 25, 2022 @ 7:11 AM

    This is what bothers me so much nowadays. Why do these people make these claims years later. At time I remember her talking about much she enjoyed making the film and that she wanted to return to play Furiosa. I mean if this happened and with anyone in any situation don’t wait to speak up. Say it or do something about it as it’s happening. It just seems like when people are at a down point in their career or life then all of a sudden they speak out and then they write a book and try to sue. Their should be a time limit on how long someone can come forward espresso when they made no mention of anything on interviews or anywhere at the time.

  13. Nikki • February 25, 2022 @ 12:33 PM

    How can Charlize be a feminist..she would have had to verbally attack a man to be one. TB is NOT a man, in fact they should add his name to the definition for the word Arrogant because that’s all he is by his unprofessional behaviour and his body language toward Charlize was violent even though he did not touch her. Real men don’t make women feel threatened. He should have apologized for his behaviour and accepted the well deserved insults. To all the real men out there who value their masculinity and treat women and children with respect…love you, keep up the good work! To all the girly insecure men that drink the estrogen (from all the birth control pills in the water) infused waters. At least now you’re aware and can try to stop being a bitch and be a man (not a TB).

  14. Dom • February 25, 2022 @ 6:47 PM

    3 hours,jesus,and no explanation as if there could be one .Mean’t to ring her bell. It was planned. I’m the only alpha on this set. Shit there’s 50 stunt men that could take him apart. Guys a creep and a bully. thinking she should have reamed his ass out and let it be known what a child he is. Is this all true. You hear things but it’s hard to believe this so called professional that has yet to do his best work would pull a stunt like this. He wouldn’t have gotten in the Duke’s face. End of story.You go girl. Dish it out. If he’s a man he’s own up and make amends. You know like best behavior. Shit how much money was on the line making this movie. Where were the freaking studio heads.Oh I forgot they’re weasels all. Sorry Charlie this even happened. There I apologized for the kid.

  15. Amy • February 25, 2022 @ 6:55 PM

    Both were VERY unprofessional. Tom is guilty of being WAY too late and Charlize is guilty of assaulting and harassing coworkers. There aren’t many excuses to be that late but assaulting people is so much worse. At least Tom stated he was regretful of his tardiness. Charlize never made any mention of being regretful for accosting him. Typical entitled hollywood elite

  16. Kelvin • February 26, 2022 @ 2:56 PM

    The big tough heroes we pay to see onscreen are played by weak prima donnas and sissies.

  17. rick meade • March 3, 2022 @ 1:02 PM

    tom hardy really needs to be a gentleman around her and she feels unafe he needs to stop making her feel that way its wrong she a lady man watch it please

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