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Hugo Weaving (1960)

Hugo Wallace Weaving

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  Summary  

Hugo Wallace Weaving is an English-Australian film actor and voice artist. He is best known for his roles as Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy, Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, "V" in V for Vendetta, and performances in numerous Australian character dramas.

  Biography  

 early life
Weaving was born at the University Teaching Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria, to English parents Anne (née Lennard), a tour guide and former teacher, and Wallace Weaving, a seismologist. His maternal grandmother was Belgian. A year after his birth, his family returned to England, living in Bedford and Brighton before relocating to Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, Johannesburg in South Africa, and then returning to England again. While in England, he attended the independent boarding school Queen Elizabeth's Hospital. His family moved back to Australia in 1976, where he attended another private school, Sydney's Knox Grammar School. He later graduated from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1981.

 career
Weaving's first major role was in the 1984 Australian television series Bodyline, as the English cricket captain Douglas Jardine. Weaving appeared in the Australian miniseries The Dirtwater Dynasty in 1988 and as Geoffrey Chambers in the drama Barlow and Chambers: A Long Way From Home. He starred opposite Nicole Kidman in the 1989 film Bangkok Hilton.

In 1991, Weaving received the Australian Film Institute's "Best Actor" award for his performance in the low-budget Proof. He appeared as Sir John in the 1993 Yahoo Serious comedy Reckless Kelly, a lampoon of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly.

Weaving first received international attention in the hit Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994, and provided the voice of Rex the sheepdog and farm leader in the 1995 family film, Babe . In 1998, he received the "Best Actor" award from the Montreal Film Festival for his performance as a suspected serial killer in The Interview. He was a voice actor in the cartoon film The Magic Pudding.

Weaving earned further international attention with his performance as the enigmatic Agent Smith in the 1999 blockbuster hit The Matrix. He later reprised that role in the film's 2003 sequels: The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

He garnered much popular attention in the role of Elrond in Peter Jackson's three-film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, released between 2001 and 2003. Weaving was the main actor in Andrew Kotatko's award-winning film Everything Goes . He starred as a heroin-addicted ex-rugby league player in the 2005 Australian indie film Little Fish, opposite Cate Blanchett. Weaving played the title role as V in the 2006 film V for Vendetta, in which he was reunited with the Wachowski brothers, creators of The Matrix trilogy, who wrote the adapted screenplay. Actor James Purefoy was originally signed to play the role, but he pulled out six weeks into filming. Weaving appeared in the majority of V for Vendetta, and reshot most of James Purefoy's scenes as V apart from a couple of minor dialogue-free scenes early in the film. Stuntman David Leitch performed all of V's stunts.

Weaving reprised his role as Elrond for the video game The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II. He regularly appears in productions by the Sydney Theatre Company . In 2006, he worked with Cate Blanchett on a reprise of the STC production of Hedda Gabler in New York City. In a controversial move by director Michael Bay, Weaving was chosen as the Decepticon leader Megatron vocally in the 2007 live-action film Transformers, rather than using the original version of the character's voice created by the classic voice actor, Frank Welker. Bay stated on the DVD release of the film that he wanted Megatron to have a physicality similar to Weaving's, and that Welker's voice did not fit the new interpretation of the character.

Weaving himself was unaware of the controversy and had accepted the role based on Michael Bay's personal request; in a November 2008 Sun Herald interview, he said he'd never seen Transformers. Though Weaving reprised his role as Megatron in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (his highest-grossing film as of 2011), he does not have much personal investment in the Transformers films. In February 2010, Weaving revealed to The Age:
" Michael Bay talks to me on the phone. I've never met him. We were doing the voice for the second one and I still hadn't seen the first one. I still didn't really know who the characters were and I didn't know what anything was. It's a voice job, for sure, and people assume I've spent my life working on it, but I really know so little about it."

Weaving played a supporting role in Joe Johnston's 2010 remake of the 1941 film The Wolfman, starring Benicio del Toro. Immediately after Wolfman wrapped in spring 2008, he returned home to Australia to film a lead role in the film Last Ride, directed by Glendyn Ivin. In early 2009, Guillermo Del Toro, then director of The Hobbit films, prequels to The Lord of the Rings, confirmed his intent to again cast Weaving as Elrond of Rivendell in a BBC interview When asked about reprising the role, Weaving replied that he was game, but had not officially been approached. Del Toro eventually left the project; Peter Jackson decided to direct the films himself but Weaving was not officially confirmed in the cast until May 2011.

Weaving spent the summer of 2009 starring in the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of God of Carnage, portraying the caustic lawyer Alain Reille. He returned to the stage in November 2010 in Sydney Theatre Company's Uncle Vanya, costarring Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh. Weaving filmed a guest role on Roxburgh's Australian TV series Rake in May 2010.

In May 2009, Weaving accepted a costarring role in the docudrama Oranges and Sunshine, about the forced migration of thousands of British children to Australia in the 1950s. Filming began in fall 2009 in Nottingham, UK and Adelaide, Australia and continued through January 2010. The film premiered at the Rome International Film Festival on 28 October 2010 and garnered positive reviews. 2010 also saw the release of Legend of the Guardians (formerly The Guardians of Ga'Hoole), in which Weaving has another high profile voice role, portraying two different owls named Noctus and Grimble in Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Kathryn Lasky's popular series of children's books.

On 4 May 2010, it was officially confirmed by Marvel Studios that Weaving would play the fictional Nazi the Red Skull in the superhero film Captain America: The First Avenger. Weaving completed filming his role on the project in September 2010 and returned to Sydney to prepare for Uncle Vanya. It is unlikely he will sign on for any further Marvel franchise installments; in an August, 2011 Baltimore Sun interview, the actor confided he's weary of typecasting and of "blockbuster" films in general: ""I think I've about had enough...I'm not sure how many more of them I'll make. It doesn't feel to me as though they've been the majority of my work, though that's probably the way it seems to most other people.".

2011 will see the release of four other Hugo Weaving films, the thematic range of which is typical for the actor's career. On 13 March, The Key Man, which Weaving filmed in 2006, finally debuted at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, TX. The child migrant saga Oranges and Sunshine opened in the UK on 1 April, the culmination of months of success on the festival circuit in late 2010-early 2011. In March, the Sydney Theatre Company and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that STC's 2010 production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya would be reprised in Washington DC during the month of August In April, months of speculation finally ended when Weaving appeared on The Hobbit's New Zealand set, shortly before a production spokesman officially confirmed the actor's return as Elrond in Peter Jackson's two-film prequel to Lord of the Rings. The actor was also announced as part of the cast of the Wachowskis' ambitious adaptation of David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas during the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The project, slated to costar Tom Hanks, Ben Whishaw, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent and Susan Sarandon, began filming in September 2011.

Weaving's first announced project for 2012 will be a return to the Sydney Theatre Company to star in a new adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play Les Liaisons Dangereuses in March. He will portray the notorious Vicomte de Valmont, a character he first played onstage in 1987. Pamela Rabe costars. Weaving and Cate Blanchett will also reprise their roles in STC's internationally lauded production of Uncle Vanya, which will have a ten-day run at New York City's Lincoln Center in July.

 personal life
When he was 13 years old, Weaving was diagnosed with epilepsy. He lives in Sydney with his partner Katrina Greenwood and two children, Harry and Holly . He has a brother, Simon Weaving, and a sister, Anna Jane.

Weaving is the primary ambassador for Australian animal rights organization Voiceless. He attends events, promotes Voiceless in interviews, and assists Voiceless in their judging of annual grants recipients.

His niece, Samara Weaving, currently portrays Indigo Walker on the long-running Australian soap, Home and Away.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Hugo Weaving", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.