The 37-year-old actor recalled his first encounter with the 59-year-old star in an interview with Details magazine. Hardy will portray the title character in Mad Max: Fury Road, and met with Gibson, who starred in the original Mad Max films, to discuss the role.
"I needed to meet Mel purely from a young man's perspective," he related. "I want to touch base with the previous Max and just say hello. And is it okay? Because I'm taking on Max, I have to meet Max. It's awkward. 'You're Mad Max. I'm Tommy Hardy, and I'm playing him.'"
"He was bored with me," the actor confessed. "He said, 'All right, buddy, good luck with that.' Bless him. I made him a bracelet. And then we talked for a couple hours about all kinds of stuff. I left, and that was that. And then he called up my agent and said, 'I think you found someone that's crazier than I am.'"
George Miller directed Gibson in Mad Max (1979), Mad Max 2 (1981) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and returned to helm Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road. The movies follow a former law enforcement officer as he contends with criminals in a dystopic Australian wasteland.
Mad Max: Fury Road opens in theaters May 15, and released a new trailer in late March. The film also stars Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough and Zoe Kravitz.