Latest Hugo Weaving pics from the set of Cloud Atlas in Glasgow

Note: This is an archived entry that’s several years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material. Some entries may not be up to my current standards as far as photo source and other credits are concerned; if you are a photographer or writer of a piece that lacks appropriate acknowledgement, please let me know and I’ll be happy to add source info.

Filming continued on the Glasgow street set of Cloud Atlas over the past couple of days, with the shoot of a car crash sequence which ties into the shootout sequence previously filmed. The Glasgow press has lavishly covered the filming, including some local resistance from businesses who find it disruptive; Halle Barry has received the lion’s share of attention. Enough descriptions of the action have been posted for anyone who’s read Cloud Atlas to figure out which actor is posting which character; I’ll avoid blurting that out up front but will say there are no big surprises, which could be good or bad depending on how varied each actor’s full slate of roles is in the completed film. (My own perspective: why bother casting an actor in several different roles if they’re all variations on a theme? I want to see this talented cast play different sorts of characters in each segment, and surprise audiences.)

Hugo is barely mentioned in the recent slate of print articles; I’ll include the text of a Sunday Herald piece– which describes the September 17 filming in detail– below, with the caveat, again, that it’s full of spoilers for anyone who’s read the novel, and displays the same sort of ignorance about Hugo’s career that the mainstream press typically does. (At least the Herald didn’t say “Halle Berry is the only star” to film in Glasgow, as another paper did. Hugo Weaving and Keith David might not have the celebrity glamour of Halle Berry, but they’re every bit as talented.)

Sorry ’bout the lecture… here are the new pics. Hugo seems to be goofing off or composing himself between shots here, and I wavered on whether to include all of them, because some seem to show him sneezing or yawning. (At least everyone isn’t trying to get shots of his posterior, as they were with his costar.) 😉 So I apologise to fans (and to Hugo, obviously) if anyone finds any photos inappropriate. One element of his performance clearly had to involve a stunt driver, for reasons Hugo’s long-term fans will know. 😉 I’m getting a bit of Matrix deja vu here… I’m hoping this film isn’t too much like that one, in both casting and tone. I love The Matrix, but each film should have its own identity. (Also, I know I may be the only person on the planet who’s sick of seeing Hugo typecast, but I’m standing my ground on that issue. Fortunately Cloud Atlas doesn’t try to slot human nature and behavior into tidy moral boxes the way certain summer blockbusters do.) But so far things look good. And thankfully there’s no phone booth in the shot. 😉

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All photos: Pacific Coast News

Here’s the Glasgow Sunday Herald piece:

  • 18 Sep 2011
  • Sunday Herald
  • By Catriona Stewart

PITY poor Halle Berry: while her co-star
Tom Hanks is making the most of filming in the sunshine of Majorca for new film
Cloud Atlas, the actress is braving Glasgow’s brisk autumn air.While the weather is not too fresh by local standards, Berry has been seenclutching a hot water bottle … and has even employed the services of two human“handwarmers”.

According to one crew member, speaking to the Sunday Herald yesterday as Berry filmed in the city’s financial district, the Oscar winner is suffering so badly from the coldness of Caledonian climes that she has two runners rub her hands warm between takes. Asking not to be named, he said: “She requested a hot water bottle as she wasfinding it cold being outside for long stretches of time and yesterday she had two junior crew members rubbing her hands to heat them up. The rest of us do a lot more standing around. It’s not California but it’s not that bad.”

Berry arrived in Glasgow on Thursday to begin filming for Cloud Atlas, astar-studded movie from the Matrix trilogy’s Wachowski brothers and German filmmaker Tom Tykwer featuring Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, James McAvoy and Hugh Grant.

The city is doubling as 1970s San Francisco with Douglas Street transformedby a San Franciscan green road sign into Spring Street and littered with classic cars, from old Buicks to a Lincoln Continental and the ubiquitous yellow taxi. It is only weeks since Glasgow morphed into Philadelphia with George Square used as the backdrop for World War Z, a zombie film starring Brad Pitt, making the city a new favourite for Hollywood producers.

The £ 62 million blockbuster Cloud Atlas, based on the novel by the English author David Mitchell, forges through time from the 1860s to a post-apocalyptic future with Berry playing the character Luisa Rey, a 1970s investigative journalist trying to expose corruption at a nuclear power plant.

Pitt’s appearance i n George Square drew crowds of hundreds during the two weeks of World War Z filming but yesterday just a small group of fans gathered, admittedly in heavy rain, to watch Berry and her co-star Keith David shoot a car chase scene.

People queueing at the top of Blythswood Hill had the best vantage point as Berry, 45, and David, who starred in Crash and There’s Something About Mary, worked on a car crash scene. The noise of gunfire rang out as Berry and David jumped from the bonnet of a crashed classic car trying to escape from Hugo Weaving – who played the evil Agent Smith in The Matrix movies – as he tries to run them over.

Despite the rain, crew members were seen using hoses to soak the street and buildings where filming was taking place in an attempt to emulate the effects of an exploded fire hydrant. Filming is scheduled to continue today before Berry joins the film crew in Edinburgh to record further scenes.

The epic plot, which was initially considered unfilmable, is made up of six linked stories which follow the reincarnations of a soul from 19th century South Pacific to the future. Vintage Beetle cars have also been seen being unloaded in the area, while trucks and dressing rooms have also arrived on Brunswick Street in the Merchant City.

The city’s Montrose Street and l ocations around Strathclyde University will also be used.

Other scenes will be f i l med on Monday and then again from Sunday, September 25, until Tuesday, September 27 – and the public has been advised that roads in the city will be closed. Glasgow City Chambers has also taken a bit part in Hollywood films, doing service as a backdrop as both the Kremlin in An Englishman Abroad and the Vatican in Heavenly Pursuits while Terence Davies’s The House of Mirth saw Kelvingrove Art Gallery stand in for New York’s Grand Central Station.

Despite locals becoming used to Hollywood stars being spotted in the city, not everyone has been impressed with the transformation of Glasgow into American cities.

As the crowd on Blythswood Hill watched Berry and David repeatedly shoot the one crash scene, dressed in 1970s clothes and surrounded by vintage cars, the glamour of the situation was brought back to the earth with a bump with the words from one local lady: “That’s a waste of a good motor.”

CJ here again: Halle Berry will be filming in Mallorca soon enough, so fans needn’t worry about her missing out on the sunshine. No word yet on whether Hugo will be included in either of the sequences being shot there… but I’m guessing he will be, so watch this space.

Aw, he’s doing that on purpose! ;P

Two more from Martin Fraser/FilmMagic:

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Hugo with his stunt double, presumably for the car driving sequence

HugoCAGlasgow16Sept2011Getty_1

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