After a week of heavily-covered filming in Canowindra, Hugo Weaving’s current project Strangerland (which also stars Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes) has moved to Broken Hill, which so far appears to be affording more privacy (that or the paparazzi got bored once they secured that shot of Nicole in her underwear.) 😉 Hugo has posed for a few pics with journalists and locals in the new location but we’re not getting the potentially spoiler-y details of what specifically is being filmed that we got during the Canowindra shoot. Which is probably a good thing. (And I will warn everyone up front that some images under the cut and descriptions of filming (here and in articles linked to) that follow might constitute spoilers, though since I have to idea how or where the scenes fit into the film as a whole, I have no idea if they’re minor or major.)
You can read banket press coverage of the Canowindra shoot at Canowindra News (They have pieces on the film’s rain delays, a general preview, ) There are also articles in The Central Western Daily (including this piece on how Hugo celebrated his birthday and this one about the filming of a dust storm Nicole’s character gets caught in), The Daily Telegraph (two articles focusing on Kidman, the second covering the dust storm shoot), The Grenfel Record covered the positive effects on local economies, and Cowra Guardian posted a gallery of images from he set. the Illawara Mercury filed a brief report on their celebrity gossip page, and The Sydney Morning Herald did an overview featuring some images of Nicole Kidman on the set, while a second article noted Hugo Weaving and Joseph Fiennes’ break to go hot-air ballooning. The Daily Mail featured a bit more context on the dust storm shoot, noting that the event in the film transpires as Kidman’s character is distributing posters offering a reward for information on her missing children.
The Canowindra Phoenix had the most fun, posting a Facebook Gallery of “Selfies With The Stars Of Strangerland“, including several of the images of Hugo below. They also posted a gallery of the town redressed as “Nathgari”, the film’s fictional setting.
L to R: Michelle Fisher, Hugo Weaving, Adelaide Duncan and Zac Drayson at the Royal Canowindra Hotel Photo: The Canowindra Phoenix (Facebook)
Hugo Weaving with ambulance driver Gary Murphy Photo: The Canowindra Phoenix
Ronnie Lawrence, Kerby Lawrence and Hugo on Canowindra’s Main Street (Michelle Fisher photobombing in rear) Photo: The Canowindra Phoenix
Hugo with unnamed locals at the Royal Canowindra Hotel Photo: Canowindra Phoenix
“Hugo Weaving just taking a casual stroll past our office!” Photo: The Canowindra Phoenix
Hugo Weaving with Michelle Fisher and Adelaide Duncan at the Royal Canowindra Hotel Photo: The Canowindra Phoenix
Several of these images were taken on Hugo’s birthday (April 4);area local Anna Ross told Central Western Daily “Apparently it was his birthday so people were buying him beers, but then he bought everyone else a beer…He’s really good, he’s just like another bloke at the pub.” Finn Store, a coffee shop, served all of the cast except Nicole Kidman, according to owner Geoff Yeo: ““Hugo’s been a regular,” he said.
Hugo with Tommy Jeffs of the Deli Lama Photo: The Canowindra Phoenix
Photo: Splash News
Very few actual scenes from the film have appeared in the media, and most of those seem to be of dust storm sequence. Possible Spoilers: Nicole Kidman’s character apparently gets caught in a dust storm while posting photos of her missing children, as documented in The Daily Telegraph and Central West Libraries… Kidman is fully clothed in the Telegraph’s report, initially leading me to think the more revealing photos were simply of Kidman cleaning off after filming. (Some of them show her waiting in and beside a car in a dressing gown). I initially declined to share such photos, as they seemed intrusive. But the appearance of Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving in this image suggests it’s a scene from the film, so the issue becomes one of spoilers instead. Nicole Kidman has generally been fearless about “getting dirty” (or naked) for her art, but I can’t imagine why the character would be in a dust storm in her underwear. Were her clothes literally blown off? We’ll have to wait and see the film. Again, apologies if this image seems intrusive or too revealing (of plot or actress). It’s perhaps the most disseminated photo from the film shoot so far, and at least, unlike some YouTube videos, I’m using the most-discreet-distance version and not panning over Kidmans body. 😉
“#hugoweaving#havinapout#palace” (Specific location unspecified) Photo: @__jacintaa via Instagram
Ten News and Prime 7 News apparently both filed TV news reports from the Canowindra set, but, frustratingly, neither has appeared online (at least in a format I can view; the Ten News item leads to a non-functioning video link.) If anyone has footage of either, or knows if they’ve been posted online, do let us know.
Hugo was able to take enough of a break from filming to visit frequent hangout The Local Bar in Sydney, where he proved once and for all that he and Sam Neill are not the same person, and in fact don’t really look that much alike. 😉
“For God’s sake , who let Hugo Weaving out again ? Was it you George ?” Photo: Sam Neill (@TwoPaddocks) via Twitter
(Neill co-owns The Local Bar with David Wenham, rugby star George Gregan and others.)
Promotion for Hugo’s next film to see theatrical release has swung into high gear, with many preview screenings (and “special screenings” after the film’s 8 May Australian release) already announced. The most potentially exciting of these will take place 24 April at Dendy Cinemas Opera Quays in Sydney, as Hugo Weaving will attend with costar Don Hany and director Craig Monahan, and all three will participate in a post-screening Q & A. Tickets are still available. Other screening will be held 29 April at Palace Barracks in Brisbane (with Don Hany in attendance), Cinema Nova in Carlton 30 April (Don Hany and Craig Monahan will attend), and 8 May at Luna Leederille (featuring Craig Monahan.). The film will headline the Big Screen Film Festival in South Burnett, QLD on 16 May; the classic comedy The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert will also be featured. And Modmove is currently (through 7 May) holding a competition awarding five pairs of tickets to see Healing.
Meanwhile here’s a promotional flyer for the film:
And here’s a different sort of promotional flyer: a barking owl from Healesville sanctuary, where some sequences of Healing were filmed:
Photo: Zoos Victoria via Twitter
No word if this is the same owl who posed with Hugo, but they look similar:
Photo: Pinnacle Films
In Other Hugo Weaving News
No word yet on a release schedule for The Mule (which generated quite a buzz at last month’s SXSW screenings) but you can add it to your Netflix Saved queue (in the US). I have heard this informs the site that demand is there for a given feature, making them more likely to stock/stream it when it is formally released.
Mystery Road continues to secure festival screenings in a wide variety of locations worldwide; there will be a free morning screening of the film at the Guringai Festival (in the Northern Sydney region) on 18 June. FlixChatter posted a largely positive review after it played the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival.