Few films had as many expectations to live up to as 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road, seeing as it was a very late entry in an iconic action franchise with an entirely new cast. And few films exceeded expectations in as spectacular a fashion, with the George Miller helmed dystopian action film being declared by many critics as the greatest action movie of the new millennium. In an interview with the feature's cast and crew, lead actors Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron spoke about their personal issues while filming the project. The actress who played Furiosa explained that the odds were stacked against a positive filming experience from the start.
"The biggest thing that was driving that entire production was fear. I was incredibly scared, because I'd never done anything like it. I think the hardest thing between me and George is that he had the movie in his head and I was so desperate to understand it."
This feeling of being overwhelmed affected every member of the crew, with Charlize Theron and Hardy, who played the lead role of Max, being looked up to by the other actors and expected to assume a leadership position to help them navigate the arduous process of filming action in the desert, with a script and director whose motivations were often unclear.
Aside from Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron's well-publicized feud in such conditions, Tom Hardy also took his frustrations out on Miller.
"Tom really had moments of frustration, of anger. Charlize did, too, but I feel like he's the one who really took it out on George the most, and that was a bummer to see. But you know, in some ways, you also can't blame him, because a lot was being asked of these actors and there were a lot of unanswered questions."
It was hardly the atmosphere to encourage bonhomie, and Theron admits part of her problems with Hardy were a result of failing to realize the pressure he was under at the time.
"In retrospect, I didn't have enough empathy to really, truly understand what [Hardy] must have felt like to step into Mel Gibson's shoes. That is frightening! And I think because of my own fear, we were putting up walls to protect ourselves instead of saying to each other, 'This is scary for you, and it's scary for me, too. Let's be nice to each other.' In a weird way, we were functioning like our characters: Everything was about survival."
For his part, Hardy concurs with Theron's assessment, and wishes he had the necessary maturity at the time to handle the experience better than he did.
"I would agree. I think 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."
Despite how exhausting the experience was for everyone involved, the success of Mad Max: Fury Road provided a huge boost to the careers of the entire cast and crew. Now a spinoff movie focussing on Furiosa's origins is confirmed to be in development, while a fourth Mad Max sequel is also rumored to be in the works. This comes from New York Times.