Choose your words wisely!
Earlier this month Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, George Miller, Doug Mitchell and Charlize Theron held a press conference to promote their movie, Mad Max: Fury Road, during the Cannes Festival. Ten minutes into the Q&A, a Toronto Star movie critic caught one of the panelists off-guard by asking a poorly worded question.
"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 estrogen," Peter Howell said. "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!'"
After an uncomfortable pause, Hardy replied, "No."
The audience laughed, and the actor added, "Not for one minute."
Cue the applause.
"That's kind of obvious," the actor, 37, said. He lightened the mood by joking about the top-secret plot, saying, "In reference to having a script, that would have been nice. That was more of a concern to me. That was a luxury we didn't have."
Howell later said he needed to work on his delivery. "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," he said.
That being said, "I don't think I worded my question very well," Howell admitted to Buzzfeed in a statement Wednesday. "Hardy just shrugged it off, although I don't think he was offended by it." He clarified that his intention was actually "to celebrate the idea of women being cast in traditionally male roles, not to scorn it."