Tom Hardy put a Canadian reporter in his place in the best possible way for questioning the presence of female characters in his movie Mad Max: Fury Road.
The actor and his castmates were caught off guard by a bizarre query about the female stars of Fury Road in the middle of a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival.
In a clip that is now going viral, Toronto Star reporter Peter Howell asks: “Tom, I’ll preface my remarks by saying I have five sisters, a daughter, a wife and a mother, so I know what it’s like to be outgunned by oestrogen.
“I just wanted to ask you, as you were reading the script, did you ever think, ‘Why are all these women in here? I thought this was supposed to be a man’s movie!’”
“No, not for one minute,” Hardy incredulously replied as other members of the press started clapping. The actor was congratulated by Charlize Theron, as he quipped: “That’s kind of obvious.”
Hardy defused the awkward moment by joking about the famously troubled and delayed production of Mad Max: Fury Road, joking that actually having a script to read “would have been nice”.
George Miller’s apocalyptic action movie has been hailed for prominently featuring strong female characters and incorporating woman into more meaningful roles in its action scenes.
Reporter Peter Howell has spoken out this week to insist that he did not mean to offend anyone with his comment, telling BuzzFeed: “My question to Tom Hardy was intended as the opposite of sexism. I was congratulating him for his willingness to share the screen with so many strong women in a franchise and genre more inclined to celebrate the male over the female.
“He was also willing to be in a co-lead role with Charlize Theron, in a movie called Mad Max, no less. I think a lot of male stars might have objected to this, but Hardy is of a special breed.
“But I don’t think I worded my question very well. Hardy just shrugged it off, although I don’t think he was offended by it.”