Mad Max: Fury Road: How Tom Hardy And Charlize Theron’s Chemistry Led To An Actual Car Crash

Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy in Fury Road
(Image credit: Village Roadshow Pictures)

The term "show-stopping" has no doubt been used to describe Charlize Theron countless times but, in this case, it was a bit more literal. After casting the Oscar winner alongside Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road, one casting director was so spellbound by their chemistry that she got into an actual car crash. 

Casting director Ronna Kress recently spoke to Kyle Buchanan of Vulture for his book Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road. It was during their chat that she described the crazy incident that led to her car backing into a pole. She said: 

Once we saw them, we just knew. It was an indescribable, perfect thing…After the video call, Tom and Charlize and I were in the parking lot. I was looking at them, and they looked so unbelievable together — it was perfect; there was no question in my mind that we had done the right thing — and while I was waving goodbye to them, I backed my car into a pole and crashed the side of my car. Charlize ran up: ‘Oh my God, Ronna, are you okay?’ I said, ‘I’m fine. I was just staring at you guys!’ That’s how intense it was.

When it’s right, it’s right, even if it causes a car crash (and seeing Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy would definitely make this author get into a fender bender). Ronna Kress knew that she’d made the right decision when she cast Theron and Hardy as Furiosa and the titular Mad Max, respectively, in Fury Road. The duo set the screen on fire, and their performances drew both critical and general acclaim. Even CinemaBlend’s review of Fury Road noted their chemistry. 

That’s part of the reason why it’s so surprising to find out that Tom Hardy wasn’t the automatic first choice for Max. The producers liked his first audition, but they were also considering big names like Armie Hammer, Jeremy Renner, and even the rapper Eminem. Before Charlize Theron nabbed the role of Furiosa, actresses like Gal Gadot, Jessica Chastain, Ruth Negga, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw all read for the part. 

Despite the huge pool of talent, it turns out that the casting directors made the right call. While neither of the stars were nominated for Oscars, the film earned a stunning 10 nods in other categories and won 6 of them. The success of Fury Road also led to the inception of an eponymous prequel film centered on a younger version of Furiosa. Anya Taylor-Joy will take over for Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth will play an unnamed role. Here’s hoping that their chemistry manages to rival the car-crashing power of Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy. 

Mad Max: Fury Road is now available to stream with your HBO Max subscription. The upcoming prequel spin-off Furiosa is set to roar into theaters on May 24, 2024. While you wait, you can preview these upcoming movie releases

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.