The tension between the leading actors forced the “Fury Road” stunt team apart.
Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy talked in May for the first time in detail about their feud on the set of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and now stunt performer Dayna Grant is opening up to Metro about the “intense” and “challenging” atmosphere that was created on set by the clash between the two lead actors. Grant served as Theron’s stunt double for Furiosa. The stunt performer said the Theron-Hardy feud was apparent from the earliest stages of production and forced a separation in how the action scenes were choreographed in pre-production and filmed during production.
“We knew right from the get go,” Grant said. “We knew from the beginning that it was happening when we were doing the fight choreography…there was tension then. So we were told what was going on. And we were just told to try and make it work as much as possible, which was challenging, because usually you’re all in one big group and working together whereas we were kind of separated.”
“It was really hard. It was hard because obviously I had to spend time with both of them and both of them didn’t want to be together,” Grant continued. “I had to do everything with [Tom] — so usually Charlize would come in and they’d do scenes together but they didn’t want to do scenes together so I was put in her spot to always be with Tom. Tom’s double was always put with Charlize, so we actually worked with the opposite characters.”
Instead of working together as a team, the feud forced the stunt doubles for Theron and Hardy to split apart. Theron took some responsibility for the feud during an interview with The New York Times published in May, saying, “I didn’t have enough empathy to really, truly understand what he 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.”
“I think in hindsight, I was in over my head in many ways,” Hardy told The Times. “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.”
Theron and Hardy appear to have made amends, which is good news for “Mad Max” fans as “Fury Road” remains for many cinephiles one of the greatest action films ever made. Miller is currently developing a “Fury Road” spinoff centered around the Furiosa character, but Theron will not be returning to the role as the project is a prequel.