EXCLUSIVE: Tom Hardy On Charlize Theron And The 'Massive' Scale Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

"It's terrifying."

That's how Tom Hardy describes the ginormous scale of "Mad Max: Fury Road." And it's a terror the British actor will confront next year as he takes over the title role pioneered by Mel Gibson in George Miller's three previous post-apocalyptic action flicks.

"It's massive. It's enormous," he continued. "It's like turning a mountain upside down and pouring it through a sieve."

Guiding him through this Herculean task will be Miller – the film's budget is reported to be $100 million – and for that, Hardy is insanely thankful. "There's something very attractive about working with George," the actor said during the interview with MTV's Josh Horowitz. "It's like being in a family and trying to create something together and let's trying to go across the ocean in a canoe. If anybody can do, it's George."

"[It's] dangerous, but not big," he added with a laugh.

Hardy went on to explain that "Mad Max" is not merely a bang-bang popcorn flick. "[It's] very theatrically based, very collaborative and exploratory in the way one would approach classical theater. It will harness both those quadrants: the genre of the action movie, yet you'll get a very layered set of performances from the ensemble."

The other key part of that ensemble is Charlize Theron, whose exact role in the story is still unknown (as with so much surrounding the production, Hardy was under strict instructions not to reveal anything). The two did have a chance to meet, though, and Hardy came away impressed.

"She's really cool and I thought she was such a sound person," he said. "I'm a massive fan of her work, especially 'Monster' I found incredible. Just from a technique and craft point of view, I'm fascinated to pick her brains about she laid down that character."

While Hardy couldn't go into great detail about the script – he joked that between "Mad Max" and ultra-secretive "Inception," he'd need to start traveling with bodyguards – we had to ask if he'd discussed other planned elements of the "Mad Max" revival with Miller: an anime film and video game. Was this just idle talk Miller threw out to us in an earlier interview or something that might actually happen?

"He mentioned the exact same thing to me, but George is keeping a lot of things under wraps," Hardy teased.