Ever since it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last May, Mad Max: Fury Road has been hailed for reinventing itself as a feminist action film, with Charlize Theron playing a hero as powerful — if not more — as Tom Hardy’s titular character. Oscar approves, and George Miller’s film has won several Academy Awards, including the prize for production designer. Backstage after his victory, Colin Gibson was asked by a reporter which other action films could use a similar feminist spin. Gibson replied, “Hopefully our next one. But if Michael Bay is listening, I’ve yet to see a decent one of those Transformers with t-ts.”
In the past Bay has been criticized for his portrayal of women on screen. It didn’t help his case that Shia LaBeouf described his style thusly: “Mike films women in a way that appeals to a 16-year-old sexuality.” The former Transformers star implied Megan Fox left the franchise because of it.
Mad Max cast and crew have been fielding questions about the film’s gender politics even since it debuted. During a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, Tom Hardy was asked by a reporter whether he was perplexed over the number of women in the film. His answer was short and to the point: “No.”
Mad Max: Fury Road grossed more than $377 million around the world. Among its numerous awards, it earned Oscars for Best Costume Design, Best Sounding Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.
— Reporting by Marc Snetiker.