The film’s stars — including Hardy, 42, Theron, 44 and Zoë Kravitz — revisited the tense atmosphere on set in an interview with the New York Times published on Tuesday, May 12. The cast admitted that it was difficult to understand director George Miller’s vision for the movie.
“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,” Theron recalled.
The 2015 film follows Max Rockatansky (Hardy) as he embarks on a rescue mission in a dystopian world for a group of female prisoners including Theron, Kravitz, 31, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Hardy and the Young Adult star explained that they dealt with the pressure in different ways. Theron attempted to take control of the situation and found herself becoming a mentor to some other cast members on set.
“All of those young girls kind of turned to me as someone who would problem-solve for them, and this is not anybody’s fault — I only say this now because I know George and I’ve experienced this with George, so I’d fully trust him. But I’ve also trusted directors fully when I didn’t comprehend what they were trying to do, and it just turned into a mess,” the Oscar winner said.
Meanwhile, Hardy’s artistic approach was to let go of control and simply trust that the film would come together in the end.
“Because of how much detail we were having to process and how little control one had in each new situation, and how fast the takes were — tiny snippets of story moments were needed to make the final cut work — we moved fast, and it was at times overwhelming. One had to trust that the bigger picture was being held together,” the Peaky Blinders star said.
Hardy and Theron’s opposite viewpoints caused friction between each other and Miller, 75. According to Kravitz, the U.K. native was the most vocal about his frustration.
“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,” the High Fidelity star said.
Theron admitted that, at the time, she didn’t “truly understand what he [Hardy] must have felt like to step into Mel Gibson’s shoes.” Gibson, 64, starred as the title character in the first three Mad Max films.
She added that she wished they both could have been on the same page because they were going through a similar experience.
“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,'” Theron said.
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