Tom Hardy Stands Up To Sexist Critic, Becomes Feminist Hero

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Mad Max: Fury Road has been in theaters for two weeks now, and it's an undeniable commercial hit. It's also being heralded as a feminist action film, which makes its success at the box office all the more gratifying. Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with Mad Max's message of female empowerment. While one internet writer was extremely vocal in his objections to the film's refusal to bend to gender stereotypes, another critic at Cannes expressed his confusion over the equal roles male and female characters play in the film. Luckily, star Tom Hardy was there to set him straight. 

The Mary Sue first picked up on the awkwardly phrased question Toronto Star movie critic Peter Howell posed during the Mad Max panel at Cannes. "I have a question for Tom Hardy. Tom, I’ll preface my remarks by saying that I have five sisters, a wife, a daughter, and a mother so I know what it’s like to be outgunned by estrogen. But 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?" Howell posited. 

First of all, the opening setup of that question is the equivalent of saying, "No offense," or "Some of my best friends are [insert race or socioeconomic status here]." Nothing good ever comes after an opening salvo that's essentially equivalent to "sorry not sorry," as evidenced by the rest of Howell's question. Perhaps he didn't realize just how sexist his query was, especially given the first part — but oh, was it ever.

Is there some quota for the number of women that ought to appear in a "man's movie?" Isn't it the heterosexual male dream to have as many attractive women as possible allotted to their action-hero proxy in a film? Or does Peter Howell really still possess a membership to The Little Rascals' He-Man Woman Haters Club, and was he genuinely confused to see this reboot of Mad Max, a manly-man action movie, include what he viewed to be superfluous female characters? Powell's inquiry really does set the mind reeling with questions, and it's clear that Tom Hardy was faced with many of them.

But the actor came back with the perfect response. "No. Not for one minute... That's kind of obvious," Hardy replied while the rest of the panel and audience laughed.

"Good for you," Charlize Theron added.

Hardy thought the question was so nonsensical that he changed the subject with a joke. "But also, in reference to the concept of having a script, that would have been nice. That was more of a concern."

Thank you, Tom Hardy, for telling Peter Howell (and other critics who still seem to be confused about the presence of female characters in an action movie) what everyone was thinking. Watch it all go down below around the 9:44 mark. (The Mary Sue)


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