The road to filming Mad Max: Fury Road was a rocky one, as detailed in the new oral history book Blood, Sweat & Chrome. One of the main subjects of the book is the strained on-set relationship between stars Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy, including an infamous fight that happened during filming.
In the book (via Variety), camera operator Mark Goellnicht and first assistant camera Ricky Schamburg retell the incident as it happened the morning the crew planned to shoot a scene with the War Rig. Theron promptly arrived on set at 8 o’clock in the morning, while Hardy showed up three hours late.
“She jumps out of the War Rig, and she starts swearing her head off at him, saying, ‘Fine the fucking c— a hundred thousand dollars for every minute that he’s held up this crew,’ and ‘How disrespectful you are!’” Goellnicht recalled. “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?’”
“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,” Theron said. Following the encounter, Theron got producer Denise Di Novi to shadow her on the film’s set in the Namibia desert to make sure there were no further conflicts.
Said Hardy of the altercation: “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.”
Mad Max: Fury Road ended up grossing $374 million worldwide and garnering six Academy Awards. You can read more about the making of the film, in Blood, Sweat & Chrome, which is available for purchase now.