In 2015, director George Miller revitalized his Mad Max franchise with Mad Mad: Fury Road. Tom Hardy took over the role of Max Rockatansky from Mel Gibson, while Charlize Theron originated the now iconic part of Imperator Furiosa, who will be portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy in the upcoming prequel, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. Hardy and Theron openly feuded with each other while filming Fury Road, and the stories about their animosity have circulated for years. Now, ahead of Furiosa’s release, Miller is reflecting on what drove his Fury Road stars apart, and what brought them back together again.

“They were just two very different performers,” Miller told The Telegraph. “Tom has a damage to him but also a brilliance that comes with it, and whatever was going on with him at the time, he had to be coaxed out of his trailer. Whereas Charlize was incredibly disciplined–a dancer by training, which told in the precision of her performance–and always the first one on set.”

One of the key sources of friction between Theron and her co-star was reportedly Hardy’s chronic lateness to the set. Theron confronted Hardy about the issue, and that ratcheted up the tension between them. While that may have contributed to the on-screen friction between Max and Furiosa, Miller didn’t offer that as an excuse for the feud.

“There’s no excuse for it, and I think there’s a tendency in this business to use great performances as an excuse for other disruption that could be avoided,” said Miller.

Regardless, the hard feelings between Hardy and Theron were also said to have cooled down by the end of the shoot, which was very similar to the arc of their characters.

“I’m an optimist, so I saw their behavior as mirroring their characters, where they had to learn to co-operate in order to ensure mutual survival,” added Miller.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga will hit theaters on Friday, May 24.

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