Imperator Furiosa and Mad Max are on their way. So promotion begins with Charlize Theron on the cover of ESQUIRE. I posted photos from the shoot in January. As you’ve heard, Charlize and Tom Hardy weren’t best friends during production. Tom has already admitted that they had a difficult relationship. Charlize isn’t bothering to lie about it either. These are two prickly, particular personalities. And the shoot was challenging to begin with. So they had their differences. Which…I mean looking back now I’m actually surprised they didn’t end up f-cking.

“We f--kin’ went at it, yeah. And on other days, he and George [Miller, the director] went at it. It was the isolation, and the fact that we were stuck in a rig for the entire shoot. We shot a war movie on a moving truck — there’s very little green screen. It was like a family road trip that just never went anywhere. We never got anywhere. We just drove. We drove into nothingness, and that was maddening sometimes."

Part of the frustration had to do with those well-reported production problems too, and the resulting pressure: 

"It’s material that’s really frightening — we didn’t have a script. Tom and I are actors who take our jobs seriously. Both of us want to please the directors we work with, and when you don’t know if you can deliver on that, it’s a frightening place to be — and for Tom more than me, because he was stepping into big shoes.”

Now that she’s been away from it for over a year though, the perspective is one of admiration:

"I'd rather have that honesty working with someone than someone who fake-smiles through something — especially for actors, when your job is to go for the emotional truth. When you're with somebody and you don't feel like you’re in their emotional truth, then you don't trust them. I think good actors go all the way. If you want to be a safe actor, and you emotionally protect yourself from things getting out of hand, the performance will show all of that. Anyone who really, really, really goes into the deep dark corners of what emotional truth is, as somebody who works opposite of that, you have to be grateful for that. I beg for that. I beg for that on a job, that potency to the stew that makes it that magic that it is. We drove each other crazy, but I think we have respect for each other, and that’s the difference. This is the kind of stuff that nobody wants to understand — there’s a real beauty to that kind of relationship."

And it sounds like Tom admires her too because he left a gift for her in her trailer – a self-portrait with an inscription:

You are an absolute nightmare, BUT you are also f--king awesome. I'll kind of miss you. Love, Tommy.

And the other man in her life? Sean Penn? Sean has already spoken candidly about his feelings for Charlize. They more or less say the same thing, except she doesn’t sh-t on her exes in the process. She explains that they began as friends, that it’s a well-rounded relationship, and that, oh yeah, she’s really attracted to him:

"The marriage thing is always so strange to me. I love the possibility of anything, but I'm really enjoying myself and the everyday moment and how that coincides with my son and my life and my friends. I'm a very, very, very lucky girl. Very lucky. He's hot. He is hot. How do you say that in an interview? You're a 40-year-old woman sounding like a 16-year-old. There's something beautiful about that, but you lack the articulation of really saying what it's like when somebody walks into your life and makes you see something that you really never thought you'd be able to see. If somebody had said to me, 'This is what it will be,' I would've said, 'F--k off.' As you can see, it makes me smile."

Speaking off…they went to the beach other day and, well, you can see for yourself. Click here.

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