Name:
Hugo Weaving
Birth Date:
April 4, 1960
Birth Place:
Austin, Nigeria
Height:
6' 2
Nationality:
Nigerian
Famous for:
His role as Anthony 'Tick' Belrose in 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' (1994)
Profession:
actor
Education:
Queen Elizabeth's Hospital School in Bristol, England.
BIOGRAPHY
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Matrix Villain

Background:

“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.” Hugo Weaving

Nigeria-born, South Africa and England-raised, actor Hugo Weaving received his first breakthrough as the English captain Douglas Jardine in miniseries “Bodyline” and acquired worldwide recognition with the international hit The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), where he starred as the cross-dressing Anthony Tick Belrose. Hugo gained even more popularity and appreciation for playing the villainous role of Agent Smith in the box office sensations The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both 2003), as well as the elf king Elrond in the highly successful The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). A three-time Australian Film Institute award-winning actor, Weaving also has made a name for himself in the Australian cinematic industry with acclaimed performances in Jocelyn Moorhouse’s Proof (1991, won an Australian Film Institute Award), The Interview (1998, took home a second Australian Film Institute Award) and the Rowan Woods-helmed drama/thriller Little Fish (2005, netted a third Australian Film Institute Award and an IF Award).

Outside the limelight, Weaving is a vegetarian though he sporadically eats fish. As for his family life, he is married to Katrina Greenwood. The couple has two kids. The family currently resides in Sydney, Australia. About the marriage, the worldwide press likes to mention that the two married to retain an image of politeness, since Weaving has often talked about his dislike for marriage.


Epileptic

Childhood and Family:

Hugo Wallace Weaving was born on April 4, 1960, in Austin, Nigeria, to parents Wallace Weaving (worked in the computer industry) and Anne Weaving. Because of his father’s occupation, Hugo and his family moved quite a lot. As an infant, Hugo was brought to Australia and then spent his childhood in South Africa. As a teenager, he lived in England before finally moving back to Australia in 1976. Hugo has an older brother named Simon Weaving, and his younger sister, Anna-Jane Weaving, had a short-lived singing career in Paris in the mid-80s.

While in the UK, Hugo was educated at the private The Downs School in Wraxall and the prestigious, selective boarding school Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital (commonly known as QEH School) in Bristol. He later transferred to Sydney’s Knox Grammar School and was a 1981 graduate student of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia.

As for his personal life, Hugo married Katrina Greenwood in 1984. Five years later, in 1989, his wife gave birth to their first child, son Harry, and their daughter, Holly, was born in 1993. An epileptic since age 13, Hugo decided not to drive early on and has never had a driving license.


Elrond

Career:

Hugo Weaving made his first film appearance while still a student in NIDA in the Australia-produced Maybe This Time (1980), starring Judy Morris and Bill Hunter. After graduation, he worked in theater by joining the Sydney Theatre Company for two years and after his contact with the company ended, he returned to film by taking on the starring role of Andy White, the innocent bumpkin involving in a love triangle, in the 1983 low-budget The City’s Edge. The drama film, however, went straight to video release.

After film and theater, Weaving branched out into TV acting and earned his breakthrough role in 1984 when he was cast as British cricket player Douglas Jardine in the miniseries “Bodyline.” He was also featured in PBS’ biopic “Melba” (1987), costarred with Sarah Jessica Parker and Julie Christie in the CBS miniseries “Dadah Is Death” (1988), as well as found himself acting with Nicole Kidman in the TNT miniseries “Bangkok Hilton” (1989). Meanwhile, the actor continued to pursue his film career by undertaking romantic turns as hard-faced tutor Johnathan Crow in For Love Alone (1985) and employee Ned Devine in the period melodrama The Right Hand Man (1987), and playing an imaginary character who comes to life in the dreams of a woman in Wendy Cracked a Walnut (1990).

Weaving’s movie career gained momentum in 1991 when director Jocelyn Moorhouse had him play the lead of blind photographer Martin in the comedy-romance Proof, opposite Genevieve Picot as his loving housekeeper and Russell Crowe as a restaurant worker. Delivering a touching and mystifying performance, the actor won an Australian Film Institute for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.

The actor was then seen in such films as Road to Alice (1992), the crime drama The Custodian (1993), Reckless Kelly (1993, was featured as a wicked capitalist), Stephan Elliott’s feature directorial debut Frauds (1993), What’s Going On, Frank (1994) and Exile (1994). But, it was Elliott’s musical The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) that brought Weaving his first international recognition. The overseas hit film, which also starred Terence Stamp and Guy Pearce, saw the actor as one of a trio of queens named Anthony ‘Tick’ Belrose/Mitzi Del Bra. The same year, Weaving also made his stage-comeback with a starring role in a Sydney production of “Arcadia.”

Hugo then lent his voice for the dog Rex character in the charming fantasy movie Babe (1995) and devoted his time to Australian TV projects, including the historical miniseries “Frontier” (1997, starred with Jerome Ehlers and Chris Haywood). Back to wide screen, Weaving gave a powerful supporting turn as a self-destructive, burned-out hippie in the 1997 drama True Love and Chaos, and was amusing as randy real estate agent Jeremy in the Rose Troche-directed, Robert Farrar-written, little-seen Bedrooms and Hallways (1998). Also in 1998, Weaving took home his second Australian Film Institute and the 1998 Best Actor Montréal World Film Festival Award for his outstanding portrayal of a car thief in writer/director Craig Monahan’s The Interview.

At the end of decade, Weaving scored his next major hit with the 1999 blockbuster sci-fi thriller The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves. With his evil role, the mysterious Agent Smith who trails computer specialist Neo (Reeves), the actor was once again a popular face throughout the world, including the USA. He later reprised the villainous Smith role for the highly anticipated installments The Matrix Reloaded (earned a nomination for Best Fight at the MTV Movie Awards) and The Matrix Revolutions (both 2003). Weaving’s fame in Hollywood was further confirmed when he landed the role of elf king Elrond in director Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). The films were huge hits and as for the actor, Weaving, along with the other cast members, won several awards such as two Phoenix Film Critics Society (2002 and 2003), a 2003 Online Film Critics Society, a 2003 National Board of Review, a 2004 Screen Actors Guild and a 2004 Broadcast Film Critics Association for Best Acting by an Ensemble.

Meanwhile, Weaving had roles in such movies as the comedy-romance Strange Planet (1999, starred Claudia Karvan and Naomi Watts), The Magic Pudding (2000, voice of Bill Barnacle), the adventure The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (2001, opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Timothy Spall) and the Stavros Kazantzidis-helmed Russian Doll (2001, also served as a co-producer). He also returned to the Australian stage with a role in “The White Devil,” and on the small screen, the actor starred alongside David Wenham and Samuel Johnson in the Australian “After the Deluge” (2003).

In 2004, Weaving played the lead in Andrew Kotatko’s 18-minute drama film Everything Goes and starred as Alan, opposite Jacqueline McKenzie, in Peaches, a drama film by Craig Monahan. The subsequent year, Weaving again became the center of interest in his homeland of Australia with his bright, starring turn as Lionel Dawson in Rowan Woods’ drama/thriller Little Fish, alongside Cate Blanchett and Sam Neill. For his efforts in the film, Weaving nabbed a third Australian Film Institute for Best Actor and an IF Award for the same category. Also in 2005, director James McTeique cast him in the title role of the sci-fi/ thriller V for Vendetta, where he costarred with Natalie Portman and rejoined the Wachowski brothers, creators of The Matrix trilogy.
Recently, Weaving reunited with Cate Blanchett for a stage production of “Hedda Gabbler” in New York City, a role that brought him a 2005 Helpmann nomination for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play. The accomplished actor is rumored to have been a perfect choice to play The Joker in an upcoming Batman sequel.


Awards:

  • Australian Film Institute: Best Lead Actor, Little Fish, 2005
  • IF Award: Best Actor, Little Fish, 2005
  • Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Acting Ensemble, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2004
  • Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2004
  • National Board of Review: Best Acting by an Ensemble, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2003
  • Online Film Critics Society: Best Ensemble, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2003
  • Phoenix Film Critics Society: Best Acting Ensemble, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2003
  • Phoenix Film Critics Society: Best Acting Ensemble, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 2002
  • Montréal World Film Festival: Best Actor, The Interview, 1998
  • Australian Film Institute: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, The Interview, 1998
  • Australian Star of the Year: 1998
  • Australian Film Institute: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Proof, 1991
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