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Hugo Wallace Weaving (born 4 April 1960) is a Nigerian-born British film and stage actor. He is best known for his roles as the masked V in V for Vendetta, Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy, Megatron in the Transformers film series, and Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as for his roles in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Babe.

Early life

Weaving was born in University Teaching Hospital in Ibadanmarker, Nigeriamarker to English parents Anne, a tour guide, and Wallace Weaving, a seismologist. He spent his childhood in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia. While in England he attended the independent boarding school Queen Elizabeth's Hospitalmarker, commonly known in Bristolmarker as QEH. His family moved again to Australia in 1976, where he attended another private school, Sydney's Knox Grammar Schoolmarker. 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 starred opposite Nicole Kidman in the 1989 film Bangkok Hilton. In 1991, Weaving received the Australian Film Institute's award for "Best Actor" for his performance in the low-budget Proof. He also appeared as Sir John in the 1993 Yahoo Serious comedy Reckless Kelly, a lampoon of the famous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly. Weaving first received international attention with the hit Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994. In 1998 Weaving received the award for "Best Actor" from the Montrealmarker Film Festival for his performance in The Interview. Weaving was also a voice actor in the cartoon film The Magic Pudding.

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

Weaving at the 2003 Matrix Reloaded Premiere
He also 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 (2004). He also starred as a heroin-addicted ex-rugby league player in the 2005 Australian indie film Little Fish, opposite Cate Blanchett. He also 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 all of James Purefoy's scenes as V (even though his face is never seen) apart from a couple of minor dialogue-free scenes early in the film. Stuntman David Leitch performed all of V's stunts.

Weaving also 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 didn't 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. Weaving reprised his role as Megatron in the sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Weaving accepted a supporting role in Joe Johnston's remake of The Wolfman starring Benicio del Toro (the 1941 original starred Lon Chaney Jr.) Then immediately after Wolfman wrapped, he returned home to Australia to film a lead role in the film Last Ride, directed by Glendyn Ivin. Guillermo Del Toro, 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 hadn't officially been approached.

Weaving spent the summer of 2009 starring in Melbourne Theatre Company's production of the worldwide theatrical hit God Of Carnage. Portraying the caustic lawyer Alain Reille. He intends to return to the stage in December 2010 in Sydney Theatre Company's Uncle Vanya, costarring Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh.

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 was scheduled to continue through January 2010. 2010 also sees the release of The Guardians of Ga'Hoole, in which Weaving has another high profile voice role, portraying an owl named Grimble in Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Kathryn Lasky's popular series of children's books.

Personal life

When he was 13 years old, Weaving was diagnosed with epilepsy. He lives with his wife Katrina Greenwood and two children, Harry (b. 1989) and Holly (b. 1993). He has a brother, Simon Weaving who has two daughters, Samara Weaving and Morgan Weaving.

Weaving is also the primary ambassador for Australian animal rights organization Voiceless. Hugo attends events and promotes Voiceless in interviews. He also assists Voiceless in their judging of annual grant's recipients.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1980 ...Maybe This Time Student 2
1983 The City's Edge Andy White
1984 Bodyline Douglas Jardine
1986 For Love Alone Johnathan Crow
1987 Melba Charles Armstrong
The Right Hand Man Ned Devine
1988 Dadah Is Death Geoffrey Chambers
The Dirtwater Dynasty Richard Eastwick
1989 Bangkok Hilton Richard Carlisle
1990 ...Almost Jake
1991 Proof Martin
1992 Road to Alice Morris
1993 Frauds Jonathan Wheats
Reckless Kelly Sir John
The Custodian Det. Church
Seven Deadly Sins Lust
1994 Exile Innes
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Anthony 'Tick' Belrose/Mitzi Del Bra
What's Going On, Frank? Strange Packer in Supermarket
1995 Bordertown Kenneth Pearson
Babe Rex the Male Sheepdog voice
1996 Naked: Stories of Men Martin Furlong Episode "Coral Island"
The Bite Jack Shannon
1997 True Love and Chaos Morris
Halifax f.p: Isn't It Romantic Det. Sgt. Tom Hurkos
Frontier Governor Arthur
1998 Babe: Pig in the City Rex the Male Sheepdog voice
Bedrooms and Hallways Jeremy
The Interview Eddie Rodney Fleming
The Kiss Barry
1999 Strange Planet Steven
Little Echo Lost Echo Man
The Matrix Agent Smith
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Elrond Nominated: Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Cast – Motion Picture
Russian Doll Harvey
The Old Man Who Read Love Stories Rubicondo (Dentist)
2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Elrond Nominated: Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Cast – Motion Picture
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Elrond Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Cast – Motion Picture

The Matrix Reloaded Agent Smith
The Matrix Revolutions Agent Smith
After the Deluge Martin Kirby
2004 Everything Goes Ray
Peaches Alan
2005 Little Fish Lionel Dawson
2006 Happy Feet Noah voice
V for Vendetta V
2007 Transformers Megatron voice
2008 The Tender Hook McHeath
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Megatron voice
Last Ride Kev
2010 The Wolfman Detective Aberline post-production
Oranges and Sunshine
The Guardians of Ga'Hoole Grimble voice
2011/2012 The Hobbit Elrond


Awards



References

  • "The Dictionary of Performing Arts in Australia — Theatre . Film . Radio . Television — Volume 1" — Ann Atkinson, Linsay Knight, Margaret McPhee — Allen & Unwin Pty. Ltd., 1996
  • "The Australian Film and Television Companion" — compiled by Tony Harrison — Simon & Schuster Australia, 1994


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