Tom Hardy got one of his best roles ever because he actually spit on Armie Hammer during the intense audition process.
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It’s been a minute since Mad Max: Fury Road hit the big screen. Over the years it’s earned a reputation as one of the best action films of the last decade. But it’s not just the story and on-screen action that’s incredibly interesting. As time went by many behind-the-scenes tales have been revealed, making it seem like the drama behind the camera was just as fascinating. And we’re still learning new things – like the time Tom Hardy won his role by spitting on Armie Hammer during an audition.
That latest wacky piece of information was revealed in an excerpt from the book by Kyle Buchanan called Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road. In the upcoming release, everyone involved with the film tells stories about their time on set, including the audition process for the main role, Max. Fans know Tom Hardy got the role, but we had no idea how he was able to secure it.
“For Max, we looked at Michael Fassbender, Jeremy Renner, Armie Hammer – and these are the people we didn’t cast,” casting director Ronna Kress said in the book (via Vulture). “Joel Kinnaman didn’t even have an American agent at the time – he was just out of Scandinavia.” Eventually, choices for Max were narrowed down to Renner, Hammer, and Tom Hardy.
But it was just Tom Hardy and Armie Hammer who were actually brought in to read opposite each other as part of the audition process. Apparently, during that process, Hardy got so into the wild nature of Max that he literally spat on Hammer’s face. Hammer told George Miller (the director) that Hardy needed to be Max more than he did,” according to the oral history by Vulture. And speaking about Tom Hardy’s passion for the role, Miller said he had the same feeling about Tom that he had when Mel Gibson first walked into the room. There was a kind of edgy charm, the charisma of animals.
As fans of Mad Max: Fury Road will know, the filming process was a bit of a struggle. Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Miller had their ups and downs. But once the dust settled Tom Hardy was a perfect choice and gave an incredible performance as the character.
Released in 2015, Mad Max: Fury Road served as the fourth installment and a revisiting of the Mad Max franchise. The post-apocalyptic action film was co-written, co-produced, and directed by George Miller, who collaborated with Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris on the screenplay. It was produced by Village Roadshow Pictures, Kennedy Miller Mitchell, and RatPac-Dune Entertainment and distributed by Roadshow Entertainment in Australia and by Warner Bros. Pictures internationally.
Set in a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities, Fury Road follows Max Rockatansky, who joins forces with Imperator Furiosa to flee from cult leader Immortan Joe and his army in an armored tanker truck, leading to a lengthy road battle. Starring alongside Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron were Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee, and Courtney Eaton.
Fury Road premiered in Los Angeles on May 7, 2015, and was released in Australia a week later. Although it is the highest-grossing Mad Max film, it underperformed at the box office, earning $374.7 million worldwide which was a loss against its production budget. Despite this, Miller’s direction and screenplay were praised along with the action sequences, cinematography, editing, costume design, visuals, and the performances from Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.