Hugo Weaving (born 4.4.1960)
Hugo Weaving is an English-Australian actor, possibly best known for his role as Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy and for playing Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Childhood: Hugo Weaving was born in Ibadan, Nigeria to Anne and Wallace Weaving. His mother is a tour guide and a former teacher and his father is a seismologist. When Hugo was around a year old, the family moved to England, where they lived in Bedford and Brighton. They later relocated to Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, followed by a move to Johannesburg in South Africa.
Whilst he lived in England, Weaving attended Queen Elizabeth's Hospital boarding school. In 1981, whilst in Australia, he graduated from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art.
Acting Career: Hugo Weaving's first major acting role came in 1984, in the Australian TV series Bodyline, playing the English cricket captain Douglas Jardine. He also appeared in the miniseries The Dirtwater Dynasty in 1988. The following year, he starred opposite Nicole Kidman in Bangkok Hilton.
Hugo Weaving won the Best Actor award at the Australian Film Institute, for his performance in the low-budget film Proof, which also featured Russell Crowe.
Two years later, he also played the role of Sir John in the comedy Reckless Kelly.
The first taste of international success for Hugo Weaving came with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, in 1994. The global hit comedy also starred Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp.
In 1998, Weaving's performance in The Interview earned him the Best Actor award at the Montreal Film Festival. His professional stature grew further with his role in the 1999 blockbuster film The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Ann Moss. The role was reprised in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
Hugo Weaving then also landed a role in Peter Jackson's big-screen adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Also starring in the films were Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean.
Hugo Weaving then landed the lead in the 2004 film Everything Goes, with Abbie Cornish. The following year, he starred in the independent Australian film, Little Fish, alongside Cate Blanchett. Then, in 2006, Weaving took the title role in V for Vendetta.
When Michael Bay directed the 2007 live-action remake of Transformers, he chose to use Hugo Weaving's voice for the Decepticon leader Megatron, rather than using the original version of the character's voice, created by the actor Frank Welker.
Weaving then went on to star alongside Benicio del Toro in The Wolfman and when filming had finished, he headed home to Australia to take a role in Last Ride, directed by Guillermo del Toro.
In 2010, Hugo Weaving took on another high profile voice role; this time in Legend of the Guardians, a computer-animated fantasy/adventure which also featured the voices of such actors as Anthony LaPaglia, Helen Mirren, Miriam Margoyles and Geoffrey Rush.
Personal Life: At the age of 13, Hugo Weaving was diagnosed with epilepsy.
Weaving is married to Katrina Greenwood and they have two children together, Harry (b. 1989) and Holly (b. 1993).
As the primary ambassador of Australian animal rights charity Voiceless, Hugo Weaving attends events and promotes the charity through interviews.
The GoodFellas reunite at Tribeca's closing night, while Carey Mulligan and Jack Black lead the red carpet charge in New York and Los Angeles. There's one last insane trailer for Mad Max, plus the first glimpses at Tom Hardy as the Krays, Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger and Nicole Kidman in small-town Australia...
The Tribeca Film Festival in New York wrapped up at the weekend with a 25th anniversary screening of Martin Scorsese's 'GoodFellas', which featured a reunion of the film's actors including Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino, Debbie Mazar, Lorraine Bracco, Kevin Corrigan and Mike Starr. Take a look at pictures from the closing of The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival here.
Paul Sorvino, Debi Mazar, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco and Kevin Corrigan
Also in New York, the US premiere of 'Far From the Madding Crowd' brought out stars Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Juno Temple and director Thomas Vinterberg, plus other celebrities including Kathleen Turner and Sarah Silverman. The film opens this weekend in both the UK and US. Check out pictures from the premiere of 'Far From the Madding Crowd' here.
Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Tribeca Wraps In New York, 'Madding Crowd' And 'D Train' Hold US Premieres, A New Trailer Drops For 'Mad Max', And There Are First Looks At 'Legend', 'Black Mass' And 'Strangerland'
In the small Australian town of Nathgari, the Parker family are trying to adjust to their new life. Catherine (Nicole Kidman) and Matthew (Joseph Fiennes) keep to themselves most of the time, but when their teenage children, Tommy (Nicholas Hamilton) and Lilly (Maddison Brown) disappear into the desert, their lives are changed forever. When a search is begun by one of the town's policemen David Rae (Hugo Weaving), the Parkers join in. And when a terrible dust storm spreads across the town, the locals begin to blame the Parkers for meddling in ancient Aboriginal traditions. As the summer comes and the heat begins to rise, the Parkers are forced to clear their name while they might still have a chance to save their children.
Continue: Strangerland Trailer
In 2005, Australian author Tim Winton collected a series of 17 short stories and published them under the title 'The Turning'. The stories revolve around the character Vic Lang (Dougie Baldwin, Richard Roxburgh, Josh McConville, Casey Douglas and Dan Wyllie), with themes involving companionship, sentimentality and drug abuse. The book received multiple awards for the stories, and went on to become a part of the Western Australian English curriculum in schools. In 2013, the book was turned into a movie, nominated for numerous awards at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.
Continue: The Turning Trailer
Life-changing moments feature in each of the nine short films in this Australian anthology, and each is told with remarkable artistry and sensitivity. While the filmmakers use different styles of filmmaking, there's a clever connection between the shorts, as themes of inner longing are made resonant by earthy honesty. So even if each brief segment film feels like just a fragment of an idea, taken together the film is remarkably moving.
It opens and closes with the animated "Ash Wednesday", using the T.S. Elliot poem to explore the idea of communal memory. From here a variety of mini-stories unfurl, often using the same character names even though the films are dramas, comedies or documentaries, and many have no dialogue at all. The lighter clips include "Reunion", in which a couple (Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh) are surprised that spending Christmas with his mum isn't as awful as expected. "Cockleshell" follows a young guy (Toby Wallace) who's obsessed with the girl (Brenna Harding) next door. And both "Big World" and "Boner McPharlin's Moll" take lively kaleidoscopic looks at how reality is often nothing like our idea of how things should be.
Other segments are dark and provocative, including "Aquifer", about a man (Callan Mulvey) who is pushed by a news headline to recall a painful childhood memory. Two young boys (Jakory and Jarli-Russell Blanco) have a creepy adventure while on a beach day out with their dad and uncles in "Sand". The most moving film is "Commission", in which a young man (Josh McConville) drives to the outback to tell his estranged dad (Hugo Weaving) that his mother is dying. The best performance comes from Rose Byrne in the eponymous "The Turning", as a trailer-trash wife and mother whose friendship with a rich woman (Miranda Otto) sparks a religious epiphany. And the most unforgettable short is "Long, Clear View", impressively directed by Mia Wasikowska, which follows a young boy (Matthew Shanley) playing with his dad's rifle.
Continue reading: The Turning Review
A strong undercurrent of Aussie black humour helps make this revolting story just about palatable, although the solid cast struggles to make the idiotic characters very likeable. The film owes a lot to the Coen Brothers' classic Fargo, as a group of people make ridiculous decisions that lead to pain, conflict and death in a situation so complex that no one has a clue what's really going on. There are some very funny moments, but the filmmakers' real goal is to gross the audience out. And that they do.
Based on a true story from 1983 Melbourne, the film centres on Ray (Angus Sampson), a geeky TV repairman who wins the annual prize in his local football club and suddenly finds himself invited to the cool parties with the team captain, his childhood friend Gavin (Leigh Whannell). The club's president Pat (John Noble) wants Gavin to travel to Bangkok to collect a shipment of heroin, and Gavin talks Ray into doing the job, swallowing 20 heroin-filled pods. When Ray panics on reentering Australia, he's picked up by federal agents Croft and Paris (Hugo Weaving and Ewen Leslie) and held for seven days in a hotel room. But Gavin refuses to move his bowel, confounding them. Meanwhile, Pat is on a rampage trying to find his missing drugs and make sure Ray doesn't spill the beans, as it were.
Yes, this is literally an anal-retentive story, told with bone-dry wit by a group of filmmakers that includes actors Sampson and Whannell (who play ghostbusters Tucker and Specs in the Insidious movies). The film moves at a surprisingly slow pace, never building up much energy but keeping everything luridly trashy as these chucklehead characters flail pointlessly against everything that goes against them. Each person thinks they're in control, but no one is. And only the underused women are truly likeable: Georgina Haig as Ray's sassy-savvy public defender and Noni Hazlehurst as his increasingly frazzled mother.
Continue reading: The Mule Review
The Lonely Mountain has been reclaimed from the dragon Smaug. The dwarves of Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) have won; although they soon discover that the price of their victory was steep. Smaug has laid waste to Lake Town, leaving the residents homeless after Thorin promised them riches. The elves of Mirkwood seek the dwarves that escaped their dungeons, while an army of orcs seek to end the line of Durin. And behind the scenes, a dark lord of shadow, long since defeated, is preparing to make a return to Middle Earth - the secret to his power lies in a small, golden ring. A ring that has chosen a new owner; The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman).
'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' serves as the final chapter in Academy Award winning director Peter Jackson's Middle Earth saga. The film serves as the sixth film by Jackson to be based on the works of writer J. R. R. Tolkien, and the final part of 'The Hobbit' trilogy. When Tolkien released 'The Hobbit' in 1937, it was a single book. Jackson released the final part of his adaptation of 'Lord of the Rings' in 2003, and stated that he would not work on a 'Hobbit' movie. However, he eventually signed on to direct a two part adaptation of 'The Hobbit', which later turned into a trilogy in 2012.
The film is due to be released on 12th December, 2014 in the UK, with a US release date of 17th December.
This tightly wound drama evokes a strikingly inventive sense of the Wild West in the Australian Outback. Since filmmaker Ivan Sen refuses to crank up even a hint of suspense, he cleverly subverts the usual cliches, refusing to indulge in action-movie exaggeration. But this leaves the film feeling very sleepy, depending on audiences to connect with the central character's internal voyage rather than anything that happens on-screen.
The focus is on Jay (Aaron Pederson), a beefy police detective who moves back home to rural Queensland after several years as a cop in the big city. He's a local boy in this dusty Outback town, but now he's also considered an outsider. His first case involves the murder of a young Aboriginal girl who seems to have been part of a drugs and prostitution ring. This sparks an extra level of concern for Jay because his estranged teen daughter knew the victim. And as Jay digs into the case, he begins to understand that there's a dark criminal element woven right into the fabric of the community. It's so endemic that the last policeman who tried to investigate it turned up dead.
This is an exploration of the dark layers of bigotry and evil that worm their way into any group of people, often far beneath the seemingly peaceful surface. Intriguingly, the film isn't actually about the murder; it's about Jay's journey to discover his own personal history, how his past connects with a present he can barely bring himself to imagine. Pederson is a magnetic presence at the centre of the story as a man dealing with rather a lot of abuse while trying to help solve a nasty situation and understand his own place in this world. Around him the supporting cast add colour to each scene, with notable contributions from the superb Hugo Weaving, Aussie veteran Jack Thompson and True Blood's Ryan Kwanten.
Continue reading: Mystery Road Review
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the mini-army of dwarves led by Thorin are facing an evermore deadly path in their pursuit of the Lonely Mountain and its mound of treasure which was stolen from the dwarves some time ago by the fiercesome dragon Smaug. Their attempt to slay him has failed, instead unleashing further horrors upon themselves. Angering the dragon has only made things worse with him now determined to murder every creature that lies in its path, demolishing a neighbouring village with little more than a breath. Gandalf remains captured and tensions are ever rising between not only friends, but elves, dwarves, orcs and goblins and it's clear that the deadliest, brutalist war for thousands of years is well on its way.
Despite a relatively small output, the Wachowski Brother's have made a profound impact on Hollywood. Here are their film listed from critically impeccable hits to flaccid failures.
Press shy and intentionally low-profile, the Wachowski brothers (now brother and sister) occupy a rare position in Hollywood of being household names, responsible for some truly awe-inspiring works of cinematic innovation that have enamoured critics and audiences alike. Yet, unlike directors of a similar calibre and position in pop culture- Tarantino and JJ Abrams for instance, they allow their films to speak for themselves, eschewing the usual directorial promotional tropes and refusing interviews.
Andy and Lana Wachowski rarely appear in public and never commit to promoting their films.
They are so ardent to withhold anonymity in favour of greater artistic candour that it is reportedly highlighted in the Wachowski’s contracts that they will remain unburdened by arduous press commitments. Despite this, the pair are amongst the biggest names in Hollywood, thanks mainly to the Matrix trilogy, which revolutionized the cinematic experience. A Wachowski Bros. picture is synonymous with outstanding cinematography, multi-dimensional plots and a visual feast that is never short of the spectacular. Positing a triple threat of sorts, the Andy and Lana have proven their ability to not only direct a picture, but also to produce and pen truly original and brilliant screenplays in their own right.
Continue reading: The Movies Of The Wachowski's: From Best To Worst
Adam Driver will play Star Wars Episode VII's primary villain.
Yesterday, we heard news that 'Girls' actor Adam Driver was close to penning a contract to star as the primary villain in J.J Abrams' Star Wars: Episode 7. Details remain sketchy, though sources speaking to Variety claims the villain will be in the same vein as Darth Vader, perhaps the most iconic Star Wars character.
Adam Driver Will Play The Primary Villain in 'Star Wars Episode 7'
Driver, 30, is the first actor to be pinned down to a concrete role in Episode VII, though the likes of Gary Oldman, Zac Efron, Jesse Plemons and Michael B Jordan continue to be linked with the movie, set to open in theaters on December 18, 2015.
Continue reading: Did Adam Driver beat Michael Fassebender to Star Wars Episode 7 Role?
Let the infinite casting rumors begin.
Gary Oldman has been in films like Harry Potter, The Dark Knight trilogy and now he’s adding one more legendary franchise to his collection – Star Wars. Well, he might be adding it, anyway. The veteran actor hasn’t confirmed his commitment to the J.J. Abrams project, but he did strongly imply it.
Oldman in Star Wars VII? It's a definite "maybe".
Speaking to Sky Movies ahead of the release of RoboCop (the man is clearly a fan of the fantasy/sci-fi genre), Oldman skillfully dodged the question of whether he’d been approached for Episode VII. His response was a brief and vague “They’ve called.”
Continue reading: Gary Oldman May, Or May Not, Be In Talks For "Star Wars: Episode VII"
Bilbo Baggins has narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants and countless orcs alongside his faithful wizard partner Gandalf and the hardy Dwarves of Erebor as they passed through the treacherous Misty Mountains. Their quest to retrieve the dwarves' vast pile of treasure and the land that they once called their home is at a peak as they reach the Lonely Mountain. Guarded by a colossal dragon named Smaug, the Lonely Mountain proves to be even more perilous than where they had just been and armed only with elven swords and Bilbo's Ring, they must make the ultimate defeat while fighting giant spiders and more goblins along the way. More threats face them in the form of untrustworthy elves with intelligence that far surpasses any of the travellers' put together, and their chances of survival are becoming very slim indeed.
'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' is the second instalment of 'The Hobbit' movie trilogy directed by Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') and based on the novel by JRR Tolkien. Screenwriters Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro make their return as do much of the previous cast alongside some new faces. It is due to be released in the UK on December 13th 2013.
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and their company thirteen dwarves have managed to leave the Misty Mountains almost unscathed after a series of death-defying encounters with trolls, stone giants, goblins and orcs. Armed with the One Ring and an array of elven forged swords, Bilbo must now set out to help retrieve the mountain of treasure that once belonged to the dwarves under the Lonely Mountain that was usurped by the dragon Smaug. Unfortunately, it proves less then straight-forward as more threats lie in their way from giant spiders and yet more goblins to unforgiving elves and waterfalls. However, as they approach the dragon, they begin to feel that all their other deadly ventures were just the tip of the iceberg.
'The Hobbit' returns with the second part of the movie trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' which sees the return of director Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') following part one, 'An Unexpected Journey'. Writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro are also back, along with last year's star cast and many new faces. Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, this new fantasy adventure film is set to hit cinemas this winter on December 13th 2013.
Mad geniuses Tom Tykwer (Perfume) and the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix) boldly take on David Mitchell's layered epic novel, which connects six generations through the power of storytelling. The film takes so many huge risks that it's breathtaking to watch even when it stumbles. And as each tale is passed on to the next generation, the swirling themes get under the skin.
The six stories are interlinked in a variety of ways, transcending time to find common themes. On a ship in 1849, a seriously ill American lawyer (Sturgess) shows kindness to a stowaway ex-slave (Gyasi). In 1936 Edinburgh, a great composer (Broadbent) hires a musician (Whishaw) to transcribe his work, then tries to steal the young man's magnificent Cloud Atlas symphony. In 1973 San Francisco, a Latina journalist (Berry) gets a tip about dodgy goings on in a local nuclear power plant. In present-day London, a publisher (Broadbent) is trapped in a nursing home by his brother (Grant) and plots a daring escape. In 2144 Neo Soul, an official (D'Arcy) interrogates a replicant (Bae) who started a rebellion alongside a notorious rebel (Sturgess). And in a distant stone-age future, an island goatherd (Hanks) teams up with an off-worlder (Berry) when they're attacked by a warlord (Grant).
While the themes in this film are eerily involving, what makes this film unmissable is the way the entire cast turns up in each of the six story strands, changing age, race and gender along the way. Even so, they're essential variations on each other. Weaving is always a nemesis, whether he's a hitman, a demon or a nasty nurse. Hanks' characters are always strong-willed and often badly misguided. Grant goes against type to play sinister baddies. And D'Arcy is the only actor who plays the same character in two segments, as Whishaw's 1930s young lover and Berry's 1970s elderly informant. Meanwhile, each segment plays with a different genre: seafaring epic, twisted drama, political mystery, action comedy, sci-fi thriller and gritty adventure.
Continue reading: Cloud Atlas Review
This first chapter of Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy takes us back to the familiar settings and characters, inflating a simple journey into an epic adventure in the process. This film also looks strikingly different, shot both in 3D and 48 frames technology, double the definition of film. But it's the story we're really interested in.
The events take place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo (Freeman) is a younger Hobbit enjoying a quiet life. Then he meets the wizard Ganfolf (McKellen) and everything changes. Suddenly he's invaded by 13 riotous dwarves led by Thorin (Armitage), who has decided to lead an expedition to reclaim their homeland from the sleeping dragon Smaug. Bilbo reluctantly agrees to help them, and their journey kicks off with a series of adventures as they are chased by wolf-riding orcs, captured by greedy goblins and terrorised by gigantic mountain-monsters. They also call in for help from the elf leaders Elrond and Galadriel (Weaving and Blanchett), and try to convince the sceptical wizard Saruman (Lee) to back their quest.
The film opens with familiar characters as the older Bilbo (Holm) chats with Frodo (Wood) before we flash back to the start. And Jackson continues to link the two trilogies like this, with connective characters and events as well as developing the simple novel into a much bigger epic, complete with tenacious villains. All of this is hugely involving, with tense moments that are nerve-shredding as well as scenes of dark emotion and broad humour. The best sequence is Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, which vividly reveals the progress in performance-capture technology over the last decade. We can even more clearly see Serkis in Gollum this time, and it gives the film a real kick.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review
Date of birth
4th April, 1960