Mad Max: Fury Road Book Reveals Details Of Charlize Theron And Tom Hardy's Fiery On-Set Feud

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Not all was well on the set of "Mad Max: Fury Road," at least according to the film's oral history book, "Blood, Sweat & Chrome," which is currently available for purchase. The book in question takes readers on a wild ride as it details the vivid experiences that comprised the filming process of "Mad Max: Fury Road," right from its outlandish casting to astonishing behind-the-scenes facts that almost marred the film.

According to a report by Variety, "Blood, Sweat & Chrome" spills all the beans about the on-set feud between lead actors Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, who, in Theron's own words (via Vanity Fair), were "either fighting" or "icing each other" out. Both actors have previously talked about this, citing the grueling filming process and a baseline lack of faith in one another as inciting factors.

A furious road trip

"Mad Max: Fury Road" is an action masterpiece, to say the least, further topped by the fact that the crew was successful in engineering stellar action sequences that were pretty risky to film. Despite the film's obvious achievements and standouts, it is important to acknowledge the underlying issues that hampered the process, and the central feud between the leads. 

"Blood, Sweat, & Chrome" reveals a specific set of events that fueled the repeated clashes between Hardy and Theron while filming in the brutal Namib Desert, and how the set kept operating in spite of it. Camera operator Mark Goellnicht recounts a specific day that he remembers "vividly," chronicling how Hardy's reluctance to show up on set on time borderline pushed Theron to furiously snap at him:

"The call on set was eight o'clock. Charlize got there right at eight o'clock, sat in the War Rig, knowing that Tom's never going to be there at eight even though they made a special request for him to be there on time. He was notorious for never being on time in the morning. If the call time was in the morning, forget it — he didn't show up."

Goellnicht's retelling of the incident is backed up by first assistant cameraman Ricky Schamburg, who noted that he was unsure whether Hardy's deliberate decision to arrive late on set was "some kind of power play," but in his opinion, it felt "deliberately provocative." When professionals are shooting especially challenging scenes amid near-inhospitable conditions, it really is not a great move to be deliberately late on set, as it not only delays schedules but is also unfair to those who make sure to show up on time. As per Goellnicht, Hardy showed up to set three hours late during this particular incident, while Theron waited in the War Rig with full costume and makeup on:

"She jumps out of the War Rig, and she starts swearing her head off at him, saying, 'Fine the f*****g c**t 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 and went, 'What did you say to me?'"

While the confrontation was aggressive, Theron got producer Denise Di Novi to come down to set to ensure no further conflicts. Hardy made the following comment about the confrontation:

"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... I'd like to think that now that I'm older and uglier, I could rise to that occasion."

"Blood, Sweat & Chrome" was published on February 22, 2022, and is currently available for purchase.