Anya Taylor-Joy Says Charlize Theron Gave Her Blessing to Play “Mad Max” Character Furiosa: 'So Classy'

'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga' is in theaters May 24

<p>Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock; Warner Bros.</p> Charlize Theron in 2015

Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock; Warner Bros.

Charlize Theron in 2015's Mad Max: Fury RoadFuriosa: A Mad Max Saga

Anya Taylor-Joy is taking on a role Charlize Theron first portrayed by the actress — and she's doing it with the Oscar winner's blessing.

In Empire's first look at Taylor-Joy, 27, as the character Furiosa in the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road prequel Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, the outlet reported that while Taylor-Joy and Theron, 48, still have not met in person, the Monster actress approves of Taylor-Joy taking the part in order to portray the character at younger ages.

“She’s been so classy and kind in letting me go and do it,” Taylor-Joy said. “But I feel very lucky that, from the second I read the script, I just knew this person. I felt so fiercely protective over Furiosa, and fiercely protective of her interests.”

“I was so excited to shave my head,” she added, referring to Theron's shaved look in the 2015 dystopian action movie. “Then [filmmaker George Miller] saw me in real life, and went, ‘No, we can’t!’ ”

While speaking with Empire, Miller, 79, noted that he originally wrote the screenplay for Furiosa — which he described as an "odyssey" that tracks the 15 years of its title character's life leading up to Fury Road — before he made the 2015 movie that also starred Tom Hardy.

Related: Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth Star in High-Octane First Trailer for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

<p>Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures</p> Anya Taylor-Joy in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Anya Taylor-Joy in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

“She said, ‘Please, George, can we make this first?’ ” Miller said of Theron's initial reaction to reading Furiosa's script while preparing to play the character years ago. “It was the first time I realized that there’s something really strong in this story.”

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Theron has remained diplomatic about Taylor-Joy taking on her Mad Max role while the movie has been in production in recent years. "Listen, I’m not mad about [a Mad Max prequel]. One of the greatest f------ actresses is picking up something that I only imagined," she told The Hollywood Reporter in December 2022, adding, "It's always tricky," when asked if Taylor-Joy had reached out to her yet about playing the same role.

Related: Charlize Theron 'Didn't Feel Safe' with Tom Hardy on Mad Max: Fury Road Set: They 'Hated Each Other'

Theo Wargo/Getty; Kevin Winter/Getty Anya Taylor-Joy and Charlize Theron
Theo Wargo/Getty; Kevin Winter/Getty Anya Taylor-Joy and Charlize Theron

"Who wants to pick up the phone and say, like, 'Hey, we’re going to go do this without you,' " she said at the time. "No one wants to do that. So, I totally get that. And I love George. I know I’ll talk to him again. I think it was just too hard."

Tayloy-Joy wrapped filming on the Furiosa movie back in October 2022; she wrote on Instagram at the time that making the movie helped make "me tougher than I ever thought I could be."

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is in theaters May 24.

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