Tag Archives: Happy Feet 2

Hugo Weaving Updates: Cloud Atlas, The Hobbit, Happy Feet 2

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.

There are no major developments to report, but new photos from the Cloud Atlas Glasgow filming (in mid-September) keep surfacing, and of course Hugo was briefly glimpsed in the most recent Hobbit Production video on Peter Jackson’s Facebook page. Oranges and Sunshine continues screening in [far too few] US cities, and Happy Feet 2 opens this Friday in the US. I’ll be posting a full compilation of all the US articles and reviews for Oranges and Sunshine soon, but first I’ll share info/pics from the rest in this “catch-all” entry.

Hugo continues working on Cloud Atlas in Berlin this month. No photos have surfaced since the spate of Bill Smoke/Glasgow street images appeared this past September… but more of those keep surfacing. The first four here are AP: Danny Lawson PA Wire, the last three from Chris Brennan’s Flickr account.


No official confirmation has surfaced about what other five roles Hugo might be playing in the ambitious Wachowski/Tom Tykwer adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel, but the folks at the James D’Arcy Forum provided a German website link (Dierk Prawdzik’s resume) which adds weight to the rumor he’ll be playing the female character Nurse Noakes in the Timothy Cavendish sequence of the film. (Hugo’s one confirmed role is Bill Smoke in the Luisa Rey story Half Lives, costarring Halle Berry and Keith David… and possibly James D’Arcy, if he’s playing both the old and young versions of Rufus Sixsmith.) Photos of Hugh Grant in costume on the Berlin set (with makeup that gives him a vague Anthony Hopkins-in-The Wolfman look) 😉 turned up earlier this week. Though there’s been no character confirmation, I’d bet he’s been cast as petulant 1930s composer Vyvyan Ayrs in the Letters from Zedelghem sequence, which will star Ben Whishaw as Frobisher and D’Arcy as his correspondent (and lover) Sixsmith. With most of the major roles in the Sonmi sequence announced (Bae Doo-Na stars in the title role, Xun Zhou as her coconspirator Yoona, Keith David as Ankor Apis and D’Arcy as The Archivist), and some supporting cast for the Zachry/Meronym sequence on IMDb, the cast list is gradually taking shape. A few lucky individuals have seen an extended glimpse of the film itself, according to Tina Steffan’s Twitter feed: “Just saw a ten minute Cloud Atlas teaser. It’s wild and fresh and I want more. This is going to be an amazing movie.”

I reread Cloud Atlas during an extended power outtage recently, so I’m more inclined to guess which actors might take on which roles, though I would probably be way off, as I have no idea which characters and plot tangents will have to be cut to make the film’s planned three hour running time. (This seems long, but leaves only half an hour for each story; IMO Sonmi and Zachry’s stories could be feature films unto themselves, so it’ll be interesting to see how the filmmakers decide to edit and structure this behemoth. 😉 Apart from Zachry, who’s a teenage boy in the novel (though he retells his experiences in old age, meaning he might be played by two people), most of the lead roles are now known, though unconfirmed. Halle Berry plays Meronym and Luisa Rey, Jim Sturgess plays Adam Ewing, Tom Hanks is Henry Goose, Jim Broadbent is Timothy Cavendish and Ben Whishaw is Frobisher.

I’m reluctant to guess at the rest of Hugo’s roles, because I don’t know which supporting characters will be cut or composited. I know I will be sorely disappointed if he’s handed all of the villain roles, though there’s already one instance where that won’t happen… which avoidance of spoilers prevents me from detailing. Bill Smoke is an assassin (albeit a very entertaining one), and Nurse Noakes a one-dimensional Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) analogue. Since some villains aren’t initially obvious in the narrative, wouldn’t it be more surprising or inspired to cast a different actor, and give Hugo some more morally nuanced characters? Just my opinion.

On to The Hobbit… I’ll embed the Fourth Production Diary clip below…

This focuses on the use of 3D technology in filming, with new glimpses of footage already shot. Hugo’s Elrond is briefly seen twice, at 3.50 (with his star chart) in and in a group shot at 8.22 (he stands with Gandalf/Ian McKellen in the background). Here are caps, with apologies for blurriness:

Andy Serkis promised NME that an official trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is forthcoming as early as next month. Hugo and Cate Blanchett stated that their segments for The Hobbit had already been completed this spring, though they didn’t specify whether they meant segments for the first film alone or both parts of The Hobbit. If Hugo meant both parts, that would imply that Elrond has only a cameo in the project, as he does in Tolkien’s novel.

Finally, Hugo reprises his role as cranky old penguin leader Noah The Elder in Happy Feet 2, which opens this Friday in US theaters. Since Noah isn’t prominently featured in the advertising, and is nowhere in evidence on the official website, I’m assuming it’s another cameo… Noah isn’t Mumble’s adversary now, and seems to be in the film primarily for comic relief. (He’s briefly featured in one TV spot which parodies Mel Gibson’s speech in Braveheart… sorry, I couldn’t find this online). Hugo was humorously quoted in the film’s Production Notes:   “I’ve played a lot of different kinds of characters—assassins, villains, a drag queen—but it is rare that I get to play anything that comes near being ‘cute.’ That’s a character challenge for me, and one of the reasons I came back to work for Mr. Miller.” I would argue a bit with this generalization… some of Hugo’s characters are much cuter than Noah… Rex the dog, for example, and his romantic leads in Russian Doll and “The Road to Alice”, But obviously Hugo is making a joke about how he is perceived based on his Hollywood roles. 😉 Also, George Miller gave Hugo his breakthrough role in Bodyline back in the early 80s… I suspect that has more to do with his participation in Happy Feet than Noah’s questionable cute factor.

We Are Movie Geeks shared this great photo of Hugo voicing Noah:

HugoVoicesNoahHappyFeet2

NoahHappyFeet2

(If you look closely, you’ll notice the skuas have dive-bombed the poor old geezer) 😉

Trailer Addict has dozens of interviews, trailers and other promo clips for Happy Feet 2; alas, Hugo doesn’t appear in any of them (nor does Noah). But there is a lot of behind the scenes footage of the other voice actors, including Brad Pitt and Matt Damon singing Super Hits of the 1980s… if you’re into that. 😉

Hugo Attends Hope For Orphans Japan Charity Event

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.

After a lot of mystery and speculation about various events Hugo Weaving might attend this past week or so, I’m thrilled to report that he opted for the most meaningful one, the Hope for Orphans Japan charity benefit in Sydney last night. There’s only one image thusfar, which originated at WireImage and LIFE’s photo site… but it’s a great one:

(L to R: Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxburgh, Sam Neill, David Wenham, Althea Gold)  Photo by Zak Kaczmaerek/WireImage

This is the only photo I’ve found of Hugo, but Wireimage has a gallery of other photos featuring Sam Neill and Bryan Brown (who hosted the event) and some of the other attendees. The charity raises funds  to help orphans in Japan’s Iwate prefecture whose lives were devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country’s eastern coast earlier this year.  I’ll add any additional news items or photos that become available as I find them.

This confirms that the cast of Uncle Vanya are as yet in Sydney, though with an August 4 premiere in Washington DC, they likely won’t be there long. I have to say Hugo’s priorities have really impressed me once again this week. 🙂

THIS JUST IN: Moviefone has debuted the first poster for Happy Feet Two, which hits theaters in November. No new info on Hugo’s character (one presumes he’ll be voicing the crochety old Noah the Elder again, but this isn’t confirmed.) The marketing is emohasizing the hyper-cute baby penguins as always, but at least this time Hugo’s name is on the poster. 😉

Oranges and Sunshine Opens Dungog; New Hugo Weaving Interview

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.

Hugo Weaving’s latest film Oranges and Sunshine was featured in an opening-night gala at the Dungog Film Festival last night (May 26), paired with the Oscar-winning short film “The Lost Thing”.  Hugo was unable to attend, as he’s returned to New Zealand to resume work on The Hobbit. So far the only press story I’ve found on the Dungog screening (other than promotion) was in The Newcastle Herald. Hugo was one of five Australian actors who had streets in Dungog temporarily renamed after them for the festival (the others were Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman and the late Heath Ledger.) You can read about that (and view Dungog street maps) in  The Newcastle Herald and The Courier Mail.

O&SHugoandEmilybeachfullface
Hugo Weaving and Emily Watson in Oranges and Sunshine

Hugo has done several press interviews promoting Oranges and Sunshine (in addition to the premiere videos posted in prior Hugonuts entries.) The first of these to appear online was featured in Jetstar Magazine. I’ll add the full text below, since it’s relatively short and well worth a look. (Note: you can see the original print version, with a much larger version of the lovely photo, here.)

May 2011
10 Minutes with… Hugo Weaving

The award-winning veteran actor is back with his new film Oranges and Sunshine — based on the true story of the deportation of thousands of children from the UK to Australia after World War II

HOW HAS A TRUE STORY ABOUT A GROSS INJUSTICE LIKE ORANGES AND SUNSHINE AFFECTED YOU ON A PERSONAL LEVEL?
It didn’t happen to me, so in a way it’s not personal. However, I do try to understand what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes — I try to illuminate the character to make it come alive. But then again, as an actor I’m affected by almost everything, as we’re constantly learning.

IS IT MORE DIFFICULT TO PORTRAY A REAL-LIFE CHARACTER?
The challenge lies in the psychological investigative work. I have to almost mimic the character and explore why they’re like that. However, in the end it’s the same process, whether it’s a real-life character or not.

HOW DID YOU ENJOY WORKING WITH EMILY WATSON?
It was absolutely delightful. I love her work — Breaking the Waves was the first film I’d seen from her many years ago. She’s warm, smiley and sensitive, with an easy strength about her — and she’s a brilliant actress.

AND DAVID WENHAM?
I only have one small scene with David, unfortunately. However, we did have a couple of nights out on the town! I’m also an admirer of his work.

WHAT WAS A TYPICAL DAY ON SET LIKE?
Jim Loach is a calm, sensitive and intelligent man to work with. The material was raw and very emotional, but it was easy to accomplish. I spent one day in Nottingham, and five in Adelaide, but the actual work on set was just very easy. It’s just a joy and privilege to work with Emily and Jim.

OUTSIDE OF ACTING, WHAT RELAXES YOU?
I like to read a lot, but really, my primary focus is my family. I also love travelling.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO TAKE ON THE ROLE OF JACK, ONE OF THE NOW GROWN-UP CHILDREN?
The script arrived, and I took notice when I knew that Jim Loach was directing, as I’ve been a huge fan of his father’s films. It was a combination of the right script, director and an incredibly moving story.

HOW DID YOU RELATE TO JACK?
Well, it’d be quite hard not to relate to the story. You’d have to be inhuman. It’s an incredibly sad story, about someone whose life was almost destroyed.

WHAT DID YOU USE TO FLESH OUT AND INFORM YOUR PERFORMANCE?
I met the man on whom the character of Jack was based, who’d been sent out as a child from England at the age of 10. It was very easy to understand his pain. My own mother was taken away from her family during the war, when she was only four. If you’re a child who is taken away, you miss the love and nurturing that you should be getting.

Oranges and Sunshine is in theatres from 9 June.

AND THIS JUST IN: Hugo has finally been confirmed as part of the voice cast for Happy Feet Two, which opens this November. Hugo voiced the stern, officious emperor penguin Noah the Elder in the original 2006 film. Here’s the first teaser for Happy Feet Two:


Hope that was cute enough for you. 😉