That’s Entertainment: Hugo Weaving

Hugo Weaving as Elrond

Hugo Weaving, the English-Australian film and stage actor, is globally known for his role as Elrond in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. However, I was aware of the said actor since his first major role; playing the most hated Englishman to have ever set foot on Australian soil. The production I am referencing is Bodyline and the character is none other than Douglas Jardine.

All seven parts of the Australian mini-series Bodyline can be found on YouTube.

Other major productions you will recall Weaving being part of include The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the DesertThe Matrix trilogy, and V for Vendetta.

As mentioned, Weaving will be reprising his role as Elrond for The Hobbit trilogy. This will be the third trilogy for the English-Australian actor.

Weaving was born in 1960 at the University College Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria. Please note that in 1960, Nigeria was not an independent country. What we now refer to Nigeria was at that point The Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.

The Weaving family moved frequently. The Weaving family eventually settled in Australia in 1976.

Weaving is a graduate of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art, graduating in 1981.

Hugo Weaving as Douglas Jardine

In 1984, Weaving played the most hated Englishman, Douglas Jardine, to have ever set foot on Australian soil in the seven part Australian television mini-series Bodyline. Jardine was the captain of the England cricket team that toured Australia in 1933. I would personally do anything to see a film adaptation of the said Australian television mini-series. See A Legend in their own Lifetime: Sir Don Bradman – Part V.

Weaving went on to appear in numerous television series, including but not limited to the 1988 mini-series The Dirtwater Dynasty and Barlow and Chambers: A Long Way from Home.

Hugo Weaving in
The Adventures of Priscilla,
Queen of the Desert

In 1991, Weaving received a Best Actor award from the Australian Film Institute for his performance in Proof. International recognition of Weaving’s work came when he appeared in the 1994 critically acclaimed hit cult classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

In 1995, Weaving gave voice to Rex the sheepdog and farm leader in the family film Babe. Three years later, Weaving received the Best Actor award from the Montreal Film Festival for his performance as a suspected serial killer in The Interview. It did not take Weaving long to establish himself as a well-sought-after actor.

Weaving as Agent Smith in
The Matrix trilogy

There are numerous characters I am incapable of thinking of without thinking of Weaving, the actor that portrayed  said characters. Some of those characters have brought Weaving a heightened level of  international fame. One such character is none other than Agent Smith. Smith is of course the quintessential villainous nemesis Neo has to face-off with in The Matrix trilogy. There is no denying that the way Weaving portrays Agent Smith is sinister in the extreme.

Agent Smith to Morpheus:

I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.

I sometimes find myself quoting the said dialogue. It has been most useful in various papers I have written over the past few years. Especially philosophy papers. Listening to the way Agent Smith converses with the other characters speaks volumes about how Weaving perceives his character. I find it extraordinary how Weaving can make Agent Smith sound so sinister and yet be just as enigmatic at the same time. There is apparently going to be a fourth and fifth instalment of The Matrix. I am not sure whether or not Agent Smith will be in said films.

Remember, the actor that is playing Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy is the same actor that plays Elrond in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. There are moments when Elrond has a similar tone to that of Agent Smith.

Weaving as Elrond

The Lord of the Rings trilogy was released between 2001 and 2003. The first part of The Hobbit trilogy is released 2012. The second and third parts of the said trilogy in 2013 and 2014, respectfully.

Something I have always looked for in the dialogue of a film is which character has the title of the film in their said dialogue.  For The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it is Weaving play Elrond (The Fellowship of the Ring), Sir Christopher Lee playing Saruman (The Two Towers), and Sir Ian McKellen playing Gandalf (The Return of the King).

Another character Weaving is very well known for is  V; namely, the lead character from V for Vendetta. Weaving had a section of dialogue which was anything but easy to convey.

Of course you can. I’m not questioning your powers of observation. I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is. But on this most auspicious of nights permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace sobriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona.

Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition! The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.

I am sure that not many actors could twist their tongues around such verbiage.

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