Hugo Wallace Weaving (born 4 April 1960) is an Australian film, stage and voice actor of English descent. He is best known for his roles in the films The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, V for Vendetta, and Transformers.
Weaving was born in Nigeria to English parents Anne, a tour guide, and Wallace Weaving, a seismologist. He spent his childhood in South Africa and then moved to the United Kingdom in his teens. While in England he attended the independent boarding school Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, commonly known in Bristol as QEH. He moved 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.
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. However, Weaving first received attention overseas with the international hit Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994. In 1998 Weaving received the award for "Best Actor" from the Montreal 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.
He also garnered much popular attention in the role of the Elven Lord, 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 moveTemplate:Fact by director Michael Bay, Weaving was chosen as the voice of the Decepticon leader Megatron in the 2007 live-action film Transformers, rather than using the original 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.
2008 saw Weaving continue his habit of switching between high profile blockbusters and small Australian indies. He 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 gritty indie film Last Ride, directed by Glendyn Ivin. Both are scheduled for a 2009 release. Hugo's only confirmed future project is a supporting role in his friend Jeremy Sims' World War I drama Beneath Hill 60, in which he'll play a British officer struggling with claustrophobia. The role was written for Weaving, who is also claustrophobic. Roles in Zack Snyder's animated film The Guardians of Ga'Hoole, and of course in Guillermo del Toro's prequels to Lord of the Rings, remain unconfirmed as of February 2009.
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.
<ref>tags exist, but no
<references/>tag was found