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We Finally Know How Charlize Theron And Tom Hardy's Mad Max Feud Started

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Way back in 1979, George Miller released the Mel Gibson-led classic "Mad Max," which told of a dystopian world where resources are scarce and society has devolved into unending conflict. It proved both critically and financially successful, paving the way for two direct sequels — "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior" and "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" — in the years that followed. After these continuations, however, the budding franchise fell dormant for roughly three decades until Miller decided to return to his fictional wasteland for the 2015 soft reboot "Mad Max: Fury Road."

Ditching the bulk of the original "Mad Max" story aside from its basic premise, the film put the spotlight on Tom Hardy's Max Rockatansky. This silent, stoic wanderer ends up taking on the tyrannical Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), who controls vital resources like water that are in scarily short supply. In embarking on this mammoth quest, Max teams up with Imperator Furiosa: a former servant of Immortan Joe portrayed by Charlize Theron. Though the two characters eventually form a fairly strong alliance, that camaraderie didn't necessarily carry over to the actors who played them.

As we've known for some time now, a feud between Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy manifested itself on the set of "Mad Max: Fury Road." Here's why it began in the first place.

Hardy's tardiness got on Theron's nerves

The "Mad Max: Fury Road" book "Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road" hit bookstore shelves on February 22, 2022, and contained multiple firsthand anecdotes about the film's production. One such recollection came from camera operator Mark Goellnicht, who revisited the day that the Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy feud officially commenced (via Variety).

"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 said, explaining that early call times weren't Hardy's cup of tea. Although, according to first assistant camera Ricky Schamburg, this occasion felt "deliberately provocative," as if he wanted to get on Theron's bad side.

If that was Hardy's intention, then he certainly succeeded when he arrived on set roughly three hours late. "She jumps out of the War Rig, and she starts swearing her head off at him," said Goellnicht, stating that Theron referred to her co-star as "disrespectful" and voiced her desire to see him fined for his inability to arrive on time. As one could imagine, Hardy didn't take kindly to her words, so he immediately approached her and escalated the already tense situation.

Goellnicht notes, "He was quite aggressive. She really felt threatened, and that was the turning point." Despite this animosity, both Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron managed to stick it out and finish their work on "Mad Max: Fury Road." According to "Blood, Sweat & Chrome," they've each moved on from the situation and look back on it with regret, seemingly putting an end to this saga.