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Hugo Weaving

Hugo Weaving at the premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, December 2003
Born Hugo Wallace Weaving
4 April 1960 (1960-04-04) (age 49)
Ibadan, Nigeria
Occupation Actor/Voice actor
Years active 1980–present

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


Early life

Weaving was born in University Teaching Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria to English parents Anne, a tour guide and former teacher, and Wallace Weaving, a seismologist.[1][2] 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.[1] 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.


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 also 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 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 in the hit Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994. In 1998, he received the "Best Actor" award from the Montreal Film Festival for his performance in The Interview. He was also 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.

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[citation needed] 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 played a supporting role in Joe Johnston's remake of The Wolfman, starring Benicio del Toro (the 1941 original starred Lon Chaney Jr.). 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[3] 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,[4] 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 Legend of the Guardians (formerly The Guardians of Ga'Hoole), in which Weaving has another high profile voice[5] 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.

Personal life

When he was 13 years old, Weaving was diagnosed with epilepsy.[6] He lives with his wife Katrina Greenwood and two children, Harry (b. 1989) and Holly (b. 1993). He has a brother, Simon 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.


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
Oranges and Sunshine[7]
Legend of the Guardians Noctus, Grimble voice
2011/2012 The Hobbit Elrond[8]



  • "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

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Hugo Wallace Weaving (born 4 April 1960) is an Australian film and stage actor.


  • One of the positive aspects from my point of view in terms of lifestyle doing film is that I can say "Well, I'm now going to have three months where I'm just going to hang out and be with the family".
    • Interview The Sun Herald (6 August 2000)
  • Yes, you like the money and the offers come in, but I don't think I know any actor who really, truly likes that glittery life. I think there's a lot of stress involved if you're up there.
    • Interview The Sun Herald (6 August 2000)
  • I very nearly died. Of course, everyone thought I was acting, even the person doing the strangling. But actually I was dying. Luckily someone noticed the froth coming out of my mouth and knew something was wrong. I wasn't that spooked by the incident. But when they told me I had been out for a while, I wanted to make sure I wouldn't have any long term damage because I didn't know how long the oxygen had been cut off to my brain. But I was fine apart from a couple of rope burns. That's what happens when you take art to extremes.
    • On losing consciousness in August 2000, during a performance of the Sydney Theatre Company's The White Devil by John Webster. The Sunday Telegraph (December 2002)
  • I certainly didn't know how Smith was going to develop. I always thought after the first one you would eventually go and find the architect or the man behind the curtain, and then I thought the focus would go on to that character, but Smith would always be there in some form. But Larry said don't worry, he'll develop in a really interesting way, and then when I read the script I laughed my head off.
  • They might think of those characters, but they're not really me they're versions of. They're things I have to create. And for me, people might say he's Smith or he's Elrond, but I definitely don't think that. I think I'm doing this play at the moment, or I'm doing this other thing. And beside all of that, much more importantly, I am Hugo, and I'm a dad, and all these other things. So whatever people think of Smith or Elrond that's great, but that's nothing to do with me.
    • On people identifying him with his roles. Interview (November 2003)
  • In a real fight, there ain't no time and you've got to use your wits. If someone were threatening the life of my child, then I'd be a good fighter. If somebody just wanted to steal my wallet, well, maybe I wouldn't worry about it so much.
  • "I was on top of Keanu Reeves, he was on his back and I was on my trunk, and I was breathing down his neck for hours and hours. It was... very erotic." (on filming The Matrix Reloaded )
  • "I do love working in Australia. Generally, the budgets are smaller, the crews are smaller and generally you work at a fast pace. That gives you energy. At the end of the day, you've worked a lot but you don't feel tired. On the big ones, you sit around a lot. That really saps your energy."
  • "You're certainly pushed into selling yourself as a commodity in order to sell the product. I will engage in the selling of the film. But I will try not to engage in the selling of the image, because I find that it's easier to go on and make another film, because the next character is actually obstructed if your image is bigger than it. So the longer you keep the mask on, metaphorically and physically, the better."
  • "I think I said something like The Interview was the most fulfilling experience from an acting point of view. And it definitely was. That was a combination of working with a director who was very open and very prepared, and ... working with Tony Martin - just sitting opposite him every day, which is pretty much what we did because the film is essentially a dialogue between two men."
  • "I'm 'of the world'. There was a time when I thought, 'Oh, I must go back to England. I feel English.' Then I went and the longer I was away, the more Australian I felt. Now, I've come back here and I don't feel entirely Australian. But I certainly feel like this is my country. This is where I live and this is where I want to work."
  • "Alan Moore was writing about something which happened some time ago. It was a response to living in Thatcherite England... This is a response to the world in which we live today. So I think that the film and the graphic novel are two separate entities." On V for Vendetta
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Hugo Weaving
Born Hugo Wallace Weaving
4 April 1960 (1960-04-04) (age 50)
Years active 1980 - present
Height 6'2" (1.88 m)

Hugo Wallace Weaving (born 4 April, 1960) is an Australian movie and stage actor. He is also well known as a voice actor. Weaving is most famous for his roles as Agent Smith in The Matrix and Elrond in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, the main character of V for Vendetta and the voices of Noah the Elder in Happy Feet and Megatron in Transformers. He was born in Nigeria to English parents. He spent his childhood in South Africa and then moved to the United Kingdom when he was a teenager. He moved to Australia in 1976. He later became an Australian citizen.

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