Tag Archives: Lana & Andy Wachowski

New Scans to Celebrate Hugo Weaving’s Birthday

Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

I was hoping we’d have a splashy breaking story or two to make Hugo’s Birthday extra special, but he’s sensibly keeping things quiet. πŸ˜‰ The one news item I have spotted lately is his name on the guest list for the Sydney premiere for the globally popular play One Man, Two Guvnors along with once and future STC costar Richard Roxburgh (according to the Sydney Morning Herald; no pictures of either have yet emerged.) If Hugo is indeed in Sydney, this would suggest that production on The Healing has either wrapped or has paused (or that Hugo is finished with his scenes). Nothing is confirmed yet, and I don’t want to read too much into one unsubstantiated news item.

But, as promised, I do have some nice Hugo Weaving interview scans (all dating from late last year). Since I try to share relatively high-res scans, all will be included under a cut. The first piece is from the print edition of DuJour, the New York based fashion magazine. They posted their feature on character actors (also featuring Dustin Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin) online last fall. I tracked down a copy of the print version just in case; it does feature the same brief (and to my mind, overly simplistic) profile piece with some quotes from Hugo (acquired from Cloud Atlas promotion press junket in Los Angeles October 2012) and a nice full-page photo, but there was a bonus in the form of another pic of Hugo from the Table of Contents. Article text is by Adam Rathe, photos by Thomas Whiteside.

After that, there’s Hugo’s portion of Empire Magazine’s mammoth Hobbit special issue from last December. It includes a promotional image of Hugo as Elrond and a promotional interview (also conducted during the Cloud Atlas press junket in LA in October.)


Note: Hugo’s comments were edited from a press junket interview in which he said fans tend to know him from THREE contexts, and of course included mention of his Australian independent films, which any fans knows are his favorite work (though of course he deeply values all three types of experience.) And I’ll repeat that I don’t think it’s OK that actors get “pigeonholed”. A few clueless people can “only” see him as Smith or Elrond, but he’s always avoided creative stagnation. But I understand, after Hugo’s remarks about not wanting to appear in Marvel sequels and such were taken out of context and distorted, that he wants people not to think he’s ungrateful for all the opportunities he’s had. His last sentence neatly qualifies everything. πŸ™‚

Here’s the Elrond piece:

Still no definitive word on whether Elrond will appear in the Battle of Five Armies, or if Hugo will need to make additional trips to New Zealand this spring or summer. My bet would be “yes”, but we’ll have to wait and see. According to some sources, material for the third film– and reshoots for the second, if I know Peter Jackson– begin next month, but I’d keep an eye on Peter Jackson’s Facebook Page for the final word.

UPDATE: according to said Facebook page, the second film is currently being edited and “we actually start on the third next week!”… PJ also promises more footage from the Β “Exclusive Online Event” available to TH: AUJ DVD buyers will be made available at the official Hobbit site soon. As usual, Warner Bros are holding everything up trying to wangle more DVD purchases. To that I say: I’ll buy the Expanded Edition you’ll be putting out before Smaug’s theatrical release. And don’t deny that’s your plan. πŸ˜‰

I know some of you are wondering why I didn’t scan and post the entire Empire Hobbit special issue… well, I didn’t post it. I do try to keep my Flickr archive somewhat Hugo-centric, and I also don’t want anyone suing me for online sharing of what amounts to an entire magazine issue. To be fair, this came out several months ago, and most hardcore Ringers already have the issue (or all five different covers.) But there is other minor Hugo content scattered through a few other articles in the 60-odd pages of Hobbit preview. (The only other photo of Elrond in those 60 pages is a small copy of this image, which has already appeared widely online.)

So, in celebration of Hugo’s birthday, I’ve uploaded a special file here, which will be available for 24 hours ONLY. And if anyone wants scans of specific cast interviews, let me know and I’ll email you those bits (there are lengthy interviews with Peter Jackson, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, shorter ones with nearly everyone else in the cast– including,yes, all 13 bloody Dwarves. The magazine differentiates them better the the movie did.)

My good friend Nyctalus (a Ringer and Hugo Weaving fan some some renown) has sent along a complementary set of scans from the German-language magazine Cinema, for Hobbit fansΒ wer Deutsch spricht. (I am not fluent, but didn’t have much trouble getting the major points. And there are lots of photos) πŸ˜‰

If you’ve seen the full Empire issue (or something similar) you basically have a translation of this. πŸ˜‰

If I find time, I’ll add additional scans later; these are the major magazine scans, but I might have a few more bits on the Archibald Prizes and the SFF Archives (the latter features 50-odd years of program scans I need to look through.) πŸ˜‰

Speaking of The Hobbit, though, a small portion of the online event (exclusive to buyers of An Unexpected Journey on DVD/BluRay) has been publicly shared. It includes fan Q&A, a few glimpses from The Desolation of Smaug (mostly green-screen set footage) and a question on Elf Discrimination from uber-Ringer Stephen Colbert:


Since there’s no Elrond Content I embedded the small version, but you can go here for HD.

In Other Hobbit News: there’s some lovely fan art, including a pen and ink rendering of Elrond, at Flicks and Bits.

And new Cloud Atlas reviews still continue to appear; the latest can be perused at Popcorn Panel, and The Film Lounge.

As it’s now officially April 4 in Australia, let me wish Hugo Weaving a very happy 53rd birthday, and once again offer my thanks for all the great work and inspiration– not that I expect you’d be reading this (or any online fan enthusiasm). πŸ˜‰ And Happy Hugo’s Birthday to all of you guys, and thanks for reading (and, in many cases, helping out.)

First Report from Healing Set, Continued Cloud Atlas Coverage (UK, Beijing), Hugo Weaving Interviews

Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

We finally have our first report from the Kyneton, Victoria set of Healing. The film, written and directed by Craig Monahan (The Interview, Peaches) stars Hugo Weaving, Don Hany, and Xavier Samuel in lead roles. The plot centers on a prison rehabilitation program matching inmates and injured birds of prey. The new article, published in the Sydney Morning Herald and related papers, features comments from Hany, Samuel and bird-wrangler Andrew Payne. So far Hugo hasn't been interviewed or photographed on set (it's possible he hasn't begun filming yet), but there is a nice new photo of Hany with one of his costars, Bart the eagle:

Actor Don Hany and wedgetail eagle Bart on the Kyneton set of the movie Healing.
Photo: Ben King/Sydney Morning Herald

The rehabilitation program dramatized in the film is fact-based, drawn from articles Monahan read about raptor rehab programs that actually exist in Victoria. Here are some quotes from the SMH piece:

Don Hany: "'I REALLY fell for [a wedge-tailed eagle named] Grace. She was the one I first met. She was probably [injured while] eating carrion on the side of the road, and got a bit cheeky, and a car hit her before she could get clear. She's a bit of a sook, and she did this nuzzle up to my neck, and she just melted me….the parallels between caged animals and caged humans was a great vehicle to tell a story [which underscores] the pain of understanding that you need to leave the cage''.

Bird expert Andrew Payne: "'Don was really good. He handles a bird well, and there's the right balance when the bird's on the glove. Sometimes you'll put a bird on a person's arm and they can look all stiff and uncomfortable. [After the pair are introduced] 'you can get them, with baby steps, to do more and get the bird accustomed to someone different''.

The full article is well worth a read.

Though Hugo hasn't yet been interviewed about Healing, his promotional interviews for Cloud Atlas (conducted in Los Angeles, Berlin, Moscow and Beijing between last October and January) continue appearing in the online press alongside hitherto-unseen photos and video footage. Quite a few of these have accumulated since my last entry, so here they are without further ado.

Perhaps the most intriguing recent posting appeared in Alfred Tsing's blog My Last 365 Days. Tsing attended press events for Cloud Atlas's Beijing premiere, and worked as a translator for interviews conducted for the Chinese press. He also includes his impressions of the film (including a strongly-worded defense of its use of cross-racial casting, which in the final tally seems to have offended white academic types obsessed with political correctness more than most Asians.) You should click on the link and go read the full entry for yourselves: there are wonderful new pics and a thoughtful perspective from someone who's both an "insider" at these events (with access to the directors and actors) and a fan. I'll include his sampling of quotes from Hugo Weaving's interviews and a few pics under the cut, but these are mere highlights and the full piece is fascinating.


L to R: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Zhou Xun, Hugo Weaving and one of the film's producers at the Beijing press conference 20 January 2013; Photo: Alfred Tsing

Hugo Weaving spent most of January 21 being interviewed by the Chinese press; Tsing served as his translator and offered the following observations and excerpts:

Alfred Tsing: As a bilingual Chinese-American working in Beijing I sometimes use my powers for good over evil. In this case, I translated for Hugo Weaving during his full day of interviews. My main remarks on Hugo’s personality is that despite playing some notable “villains”, his vibe is very gentle and compassionate. By the end of an entire day of translating, since so many interview questions were the same, he joked that I should pretty much just answer the questions before he even responds.

Here are some of the questions he was asked throughout the day.

Q: In “Cloud Atlas” all the actors in the movie play multiple roles, including different genders and different identities, what did it feel like for you playing all those roles?

Hugo Weaving: When we were filming V for Vendetta seven years ago, the Wachowski siblings and I both read the novel Cloud Atlas. [Actress Natalie Portman introduced them to it.] When I got the screenplay, I’d already read the original version twice, so I understood what the basic story was. For me, the most fun thing reading the script was that the story structure was completely new and original. The novel’s narrative style is somewhat like a Russian Doll, each story is half told chronologically, then the second halves in reverse-chronology. The screenplay tells the six stories all in one go as a mosaic. So I was fascinated by the structure of the film.

Q: In real life you’re a gentle man and a good person but in Wachowski movies, you are always cast as the bad guy. How do you feel about that?

Hugo Weaving: The character’s I play do not perceive themselves as pure villains, nor do I portray them deliberately as “the bad guys”; I like to play contradictory roles. For instance Agent Smith or the characters I play in Cloud Atlas. Many are agents against change invested in the maintenance of a system. They are fighting to keep things the way they are. On The Matrix, when I read the script, I found the character of Smith to be very funny; that character always made me laugh. The Wachowskis also thought Smith was very funny. So I guess they knew I could take on these sorts of roles because we’ve always seen things very much on the same level and of course we’re good friends in real life.

Q: Which role did you enjoy the most?

Hugo Weaving: I enjoyed each of them, but my favorite is the role of the old Georgie, who only exists in Tom Hanks’ character Zachry’s imagination. He’s a manifestation of his fear, and I really like to play this aspect of human imagination.

Q: What about Nurse Noakes?

Hugo Weaving: She’s the mean nurse in [the Timothy Cavendish plotline]; she’s simply a monster. I always wanted to laugh when playing her. Her character makeup was the most ambitious and challenging; it took four hours to apply. I had to get used to wearing the heavy costume. It wasn’t easy, but I really enjoyed the process.


Alfred Tsing with Hugo Weaving


L to R: Hugo Weaving, Keanu Reeves, Alfred Tsing, Lana Wachowski

Alfred Tsing: "At the end of the press tour we had a nice dinner and Keanu Reeves came by to support. He was also in town working on post-production for his latest China-US co-production Man of Tai Chi."

Tsing's full blog post includes many additional photos, Tsing's interviews with the film's directors, hints about the Wachowskis next project Jupiter Ascending, a meet-up with Chinese director Stephen Chow and many other goodies, so do check it out!


Photo: Alfred Tsing

While Cloud Atlas didn't have a formal Australian premiere, it did open in Australia 28 February. The Sydney Morning Herald has posted/printed a few versions of a Hugo Weaving interview conducted by Caris Bizzaca; it's unknown if this was conducted during earlier press junkets (as most of the UK promo interviews featuring Hugo were) or if he spoke to this reporter from Australia while prepping for Healing… either way it's a brief but interesting discussion of the film and Hugo's most memorable characters. I'll post the text of the online version under the cut; the print version can be read here. Both featured stills of Hugo's Cloud Atlas characters rather than new photos.
An unusual change of face
March 1, 2013
by Caris Bizzaca (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP)
"The many faces of Hugo Weaving in Cloud Atlas.

Hugo Weaving has played the villainous Agent Smith and freedom fighter V, but in just one film – Cloud Atlas – the Aussie actor has taken on more characters than in his entire 14-year collaboration with directors Andy and Lana Wachowski.

Weaving plays a total of six characters in Cloud Atlas, an ambitious adaptation of David Mitchell's novel that tackles big existential ideas such as reincarnation and the repercussions of actions in one life to another.

Like his co-stars – including Halle Berry, Tom Hanks and Susan Sarandon – Weaving plays a variety of characters, who cross genders, social classes and race over a period of about 500 years.

One in particular is Nurse Noakes, a burly, nasty woman working in an aged-care facility. Weaving said he was excited as the prospect of playing this "hysterical monster".

"There are roles you kind of get thrilled about," Weaving says. "When Andy [Wachowski] said we want you to play Nurse Noakes, I was like, 'You want ME to play Nurse Noakes? That is fantastic.'

"And then I thought, 'How the hell and we going to do that?' "

With a lot of prosthetics, it turns out.

While Weaving originally imagined the character to be tall and thin, the Wachowskis and co-director Tom Tykwer envisioned her as a large woman.

Weaving had to don a heavy fat suit and facial prosthetics for the transformation, but unlike other characters he plays in the film, he didn't get much time to get used to the costume.

"That was a challenge just to try and forget about it actually and to inhabit it in a way that wasn't too preposterous," he says.

"But no, the idea of playing a different gender, the idea of playing anything is . . . it's thrilling and daunting."

The way characters such as Nurse Noakes allowed Cloud Atlas to cross social barriers, including gender, spoke personally to director Lana Wachowski.

Formerly known as Larry, (she underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2009) she, likewise, says Cloud Atlas is the kind of movie that refuses to be put into a box by social conventions.

"Yes, you're drawn to art that resonates in your own life and my life has been a struggle against a society, a culture that is pathologically obsessed with binary," she says.

"The culture does not want to contemplate the idea of a spectral range of gender."

Cloud Atlas marks the first film Weaving has worked on with Lana since she had her surgery, but the fifth Wachowski film that he has been in – a long collaboration that began in 1999 with The Matrix, followed by its two sequels in 2003 and V for Vendetta in 2005.

It was actually during filming for V for Vendetta that Weaving first came across the novel Cloud Atlas. His co-star Natalie Portman was reading it, so he followed suit and has previously said it became one of his top 10 books.

Reading the script for the first time, Weaving says he was fascinated by how the writer/directors approached the story.

In the novel, huge chunks are spent on different characters, but in the film, the stories are all cut together.

Weaving says Andy explained the film to him by comparing it to a mosaic, in that all the stories are introduced immediately, as opposed to "this Russian Doll of a structure" that the book had.

The Australian actor said he was glad to have already been familiar with the book and seeing what they wanted to do with it.

"You know the world, you know the characters, you know how they parallel each other and interconnect," he says. "So it was a thrilling kind of read because I love the book so much."

Cloud Atlas is out now."

Australian reporter Alicia Malone spoke to Hugo (and Susan Sarandon) during the LA press junket back in October; I'll include the YouTube clip of that interview under the next cut, along with Metro.co.uk's joint Hugo Weaving/Susan Sarandon interview and a link Yahoo UK's video featuring Hugo and Bae Doona tackling The Reincarnation Question in Berlin last November.

Alicia Malone's Movie Minute:

Some other Hugo Weaving quotes Malone posted at The Brag:
"That’s the thing that interests me… how the actions you take in your life reverberate somehow, and often the things you are doing in your life are as a consequence of the people who may have been connected to you in time, geography or culture. If you extrapolate that idea, we’re all connected in some way. That butterfly effect. Every action you make has an effect on everyone else in the world, to some extent .

“I get on extremely well with both of [the Wachowskis] and I love them very much. I’m always challenged and stimulated by them and their ideas. I never used to get separate notes from them, which would be the main difference. They’re more individuated than before.[T]owards the end [of filming], the cameos grew. All the actors were saying, ‘I want to be in that story too. Can I play… anything?"
****

Here's the Metro.co.uk interview, with introduction included to demonstrate why some of the interview questions end up being so incorrigibly silly:

Ross McD interviewed the cast and crew of Cloud Atlas at a round table press junket in LA. In part three he meets Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon…

11AM Beverly Hills, Los Angeles – Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon

Uh-oh. Things have taken a sour turn. Hollywood royalty may be about to walk in, but at least one person isn’t preoccupying himself with rolling out the red carpet. No sooner have Whishaw and D’Arcy left the room when the Italian lights up on one of the female South African journos, apparently for cutting across one of his monologue/questions.

‘I’m trying to get one quote, and you start….’

‘What. Is. Cloud. Atlas? Four words,’ she suggests.

‘I DON’T GIVE A F**K WHAT HE WEARS, WHAT SHE’S WEARING, WHICH MOVIE WAS HE IN! I need to write these quotes!’

‘I don’t give a f**k what you think.’
‘But you took too long.’

‘I don’t give a sh*t.’

‘IF YOU COULD all take you seats,’ a PA announces to the room through a rather intense smile, ‘we are ready for Susan and Hugo.’

‘We should also put down things to tape what you say,’ Susan smiles, wryly eyeing the Dictaphones – and perhaps concerned for her safety, having sniffed the tail end of a potential journo brawl.

Hugo smiles, no stranger to brawls under the Wachowskis, having played the iconic Agent Smith in all three Matrixes. He’s rocking an impressively shaggy beard right now and couldn’t look any further from the impeccable computer program. Unless he were to dress up as a sadistic, hulking blonde female nurse, I suppose….

‘You’ve worked with the Wachowski’s before, in what way was it different this time?’ One of the Japanese journos wanted to know.

‘It was very similar. The first time we met we hit it off very quickly, and it feels like I’ve been laughing and raving with them for years, so…’

‘You know raving means something entirely different in this country?’ Susan advises him in her trademark playful tone. ‘It involves certain drugs, dancing, sweating…’

‘Oh it does? I meant talking a lot,’ Hugo clarifies.

‘It was like a circus,’ said Susan, who worked under the Wachowskis on Speed Racer. ‘The fact that people were playing big parts and little parts and giving up their egos and their iconic status and just jumping in… and Hugh Grant going naked with tattoos was hilarious. It set this feeling like you were kind of at Camp Cloud Atlas.’

And like a circus, the fun and frivolity of the surface are firmly rooted in meticulous choreography: the casting was not just an aimlessly assembled ensemble.

The joy of being an actor is that you have this opportunity to be many different people in one lifetime, that’s kind of the point,’ Susan explained. ‘My characters all have a kind of spirituality and are a little bit more enlightened, whatever; [Hugo's] are a little bit more controlled and maybe somewhat more evil. They had done that when they cast, it wasn’t just a haphazard kind of filling in. And then people were begging to be in stories they weren’t in and wanted to play little parts…’

Hugo added: ‘But that character had to, in some way, have an acceptable link or time link to the other characters they might have played.’

‘I think the idea of changing genders and colours, having the opportunity for a Korean actress to play a Mexican and everyone to play another gender, somehow underneath it all, the film subliminally breaks down and makes this fluidity the point of the film. No matter how the wrapping is underneath, the spirit and the humanity is consistent,’ Susan went on. ‘Even though they don’t hit you over the head with it, it was something that affected us – not just popping contact lenses in and chins and noses and stuff, but the idea of actually getting a chance of walking in someone else’s moccasins and be a man for a day.’

Of all the worlds we’ve visited today so far, this pairing appear to be most confident that the film will be a success. Are they?

I think it is a success,’ Susan claims. ‘Are you talking about commercial success? I think it is extraordinary this film was made, and it signals to the industry an opportunity to break a mould.’

From early reviews, one of the fears surrounding whether or not the film will indeed be a commercial success overall is that it’s trying to be too clever, and that audiences just might not get it.

But, according to Susan, there is a hunger among cinemagoers for something different: ‘I think that the public is much smarter than anybody thinks and they don’t need to see the same movie six times, they don’t need to have everything be derivative.

‘I’m sure there will be some people who will go in and say “Oh my God, what is this?” in the first five minutes.

‘I have a sister, you take her to France and she orders a pizza, and she’s disappointed that it’s not like in New York. She’s just not a good traveller. You need people who are good travellers who can surrender and say “Okay, this is something new” and be excited and not threatened.’

‘And we all did that, and really had the most extraordinary time,’ Hugo adds. ‘And that’s enough, that’s reward in itself for us, regardless of whether its financially successful or not. Of course you hope that it is because that means a lot of people have seen it and hopefully were moved in the same way we were. But, beyond that, it’s not really a concern.’

As one of the Japanese journalists correctly points out, Susan is one of a handful of actors who seems to get work consistently – is it down to the roles she chooses, luck, or something else?

‘Well I’m playing supporting parts – a lot of men won’t do that,’ she replies, matter-of-factly. ‘I see myself as a character actor, and if a project is exciting and the other people I’m working with are good…I do a lot of first time directors, so I’m the go to person for that.

‘I’ve always been kind of outside of the system, so if somebody sends me something and I haven’t done it before and I think it’ll be fun – and I don’t have to be there for five months for a smaller part – as long as I’m still having fun, then I’ll keep doing it.’

CJ: As a lifelong American, I'd have to say that, apart from a brief period in the 1990s, Hugo's definition of "rave" is most common here. But maybe Sarandon has spent too much time in LA. πŸ˜‰

Yahoo UK asked several actors The Reincarnation Question again; Hugo gave a slightly different response this time around (the interview was taped in Berlin) than when the same question came up in LA. I'll try to embed, but since non-YouTube embeds typically fail here lately (grrrrr!) click here if no video appears. Very interesting to note the falcon/falcon handler answers from D'Arcy and Whishaw given Hugo's casting in Healing. πŸ˜‰

Cloud Atlas Press Articles:

  • Interviews with the actors who attended the UK premiere (Hugh Grant, James D'Arcy, Ben Whishaw, Jim Sturgess, Jim Broadbent) at FilmBeat
  • Alicia Malone's cast interviews with Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess and Jim Broadbent are excerpted at The Brag (Beat Magazine reposts the same piece)
  • BBC News coverage and cast interviews of the Cloud Atlas UK premiere
  • James D'Arcy's Glasgow Film Fest interview promoting Cloud Atlas
  • The Guardian's assessment of how Warner Bros marketing might have hurt its US box office take (the film is now close to recouping its $100 million budget, thanks to more enlightened overseas audiences)
  • An uproarious Jim Sturgess/James D'Arcy interview using fan questions at Total Film
  • There are in-depth interviews with the visual effects artists and production photos showing how key scenes evolved at Flickering Myth
  • Tom Tykwer radio interview on BBC4's The Film Programme
  • Great Jim Broadbent Radio Times interview in which the actor excoriates Hollywood award shows that snubbed the film
  • Empire Online Q&A/Behind the Scenes feature with Jim Stugess and James D'Arcy  (Who discuss how that their death scenes at the hands of Hugh Grant and Hugo, respectively, were "fun")
  • Cloud Atlas's Scotland locations are detailed in The Scotsman (including the Glasgow street– pretending to be San Francisco– where Bill Smoke tries to run down Luisa Rey, and the Scott Monument, where Frobisher watches his lover Sixsmith search for him)
  • James D'Arcy interviews at TheView.co.uk, The Belissimo Files, Spin 1038
  • Filmosphere's interview with conceptual artist Adam Cuczsek (French)
  • Parkes Champion Post Tom Tykwer interview/Cloud Atlas preview
  • Making-of featurette in The Age (featuring interviews with the directors).
Also, if you are a fan of James D'Arcy or Jim Sturgess, do check out JamesD'ArcyForum.net and/or Jim Stugess Online for many, many more pics and articles covering the UK premiere of Cloud Atlas. These communities and their mods have provided critical assistance and boundless enthusiasm during these giddy months of Cloud Atlas coverage.

New Cloud Atlas Reviews: DianaBabe.com, Best For Film, Colourless Opinions, MoveMeez, Blogomatic 3000, Comic Buzz, MovieMail.com, Bring The Noise, BanterFlix, The Establishing Shot, ViewLondon.co.uk, Popcorn Addict, Express.co.uk, Mild Concern, PreviewFiilms.com.au, Get-Reel.net, The Film Cricket, London, Hollywood, Tim The Film Guy, Den of Geek (middling review including some amusing errors, demonstrating that a lot of people dissing certain elements of the film failed to really pay attention), Movie Ramblings, TheArtsDesk.com, Flickering Myth, Ed's Electronics Review, Impact Online, The Australian, SFX.co.uk, Empire Online, Marked Movies, Triptothepictures, Lisa Thatcher, FMV Magazine, Female First, The Bioscopist, The Celluloid Sage, The Movie Bit, TV and Film Review, Film 4, Monday Movie Show, The Irish Examiner, The Film Pie, Platform Online, Alienationmentale, Implied Subjectivity, DUSA Media, Mac Robinson, TheMusic.com.au, The 500 Club, Raybeard, Fanatical Film, Quickflix, Pieces of Reece, The Digital Fix, LeftLion.co.uk, Insights.uca.org, Cambridge Tab, The Statesman, The Sydney Morning Herald, At The Movies, M/C Reviews, Expand Your Canvas, 3aw.com.au, West Sussex County Times, Mustache Magazine, Inside 7th Art, Shadowplay, Social Intercourse, Cinema with Sarah O'Connor, The Big Brown Chair, Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop, Rip It Up and The Blend. [Takes a deep breath!…] πŸ˜‰  It should be noted that the vast majority of these are positive and thoughtfully written, and that Cloud Atlas has quickly become one of Hugo's most-reviewed and internationally celebrated projects. Not bad for a film misleadingly labelled a "failure" in the shallower corners of the US media.

Finally, as far as Cloud Atlas is concerned, the US DVD/BluRay finally has a firm release date (May 14) and can now be preordered at Amazon and other retailers (I encourage fans to shop around, as always). The BluRay package will include the DVD and download versions, seven new featurettes  and cast interviews, but– as we've become accustomed to from the Wachowskis– no deleted scenes. For additional details and the frustratingly pedestrian (IMO) box art, check out HighDefDiscNews, Home Theater Forum, We Got This Covered, JoBlo.com

My friend Abigail wants Hugo Weaving fans to know that if you simply want a new, random Hugo photo or film still every day without so much text to get through, she's started a new community here called Daily Hugo Weaving Photo.

Waiting For Godot News: Though Sydney Theatre Company's new production of the Samuel Beckett classic (costarring Richard Roxburgh) is still several months away, tickets are already scarce, thanks to record box-office sales. More details at Aussie Theatre. And finally, in NIDA/STC News, a young actor named Harry Greenwood, who recently graduated from NIDA, has been cast in his first Sydney Theatre Company production, The Fury. Any similarities to another young NIDA alum who first made a splash at STC in the early 1980s are purely coincidental, no doubt. πŸ˜‰

Cloud Atlas UK Premieres and Reviews; Healing Begins Filming; Hugo Weaving Interviews (Beijing, LA)

Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

Hugo Weaving is probably hard at work on the set of Healing, his latest Australian film, which begins shooting in Victoria today. Alas, there are no images of him on set yet; Pointblank Pictures' latest updates include a copy of the film's press release and a note about the casting of actor Tony Briggs as another prison warden.  Many websites have passed along news of the project, including a heartening number of mainstream movie sites– we'll have to see how many actually cover or promote the film properly when it's actually released about this time in 2014. πŸ˜‰ None of these internet reports includes any additional data, and most just repeat Pointblank's synopsis or director Craig Monahan's brief comments excerpted here last week. But they're worth a look for the different Hugo photos, I guess… FilmInk deserves praise for actually posting a recent one (see below). πŸ˜‰ Anyhow, you can read these reports at Movies.ie, Marquee Management (Robert Taylor casting announcement), The Hollywood Reporter, JoBlo.com, Dark Horizons, Actucine (French), Braindamaged (French), Cine Maldito (Spanish), Primer Plano News (Spanish), Music News Australia, Dream Movie Cast, The Sydney Morning Herald, Snarkerati and Ain't It Cool News. The Chillin' With Geek Soul Brother podcast throws the project a mention 24 minutes in. (And if you're a genre geek, you'll want to give the whole thing a listen.)


Hugo Weaving, 2012, Cloud Atlas LA Press Conference Photo: Vera Andreson/WireImage

Cloud Atlas continued its gradual global roll-out with premieres at the Jameson's Dublin International Film Festival on February 16 and Glasgow International Film Festival on the 17th; there was also a London premiere earlier today. James D'Arcy covered promotional duties at the two festivals while Ben Whishaw, Jim Sturgess, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Grant joined him at the London event.


L to R: Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, James D'Arcy, Ben Whishaw, Jim Sturgess at the Cloud Atlas London premiere at The Curzon Mayfair, 18 February 2013.  Photo: David J Hogan/Getty Images.

For a selection of additional London premiere photos, go here; Jim Sturgess Online also has a nice batch.

Of course, Hugo couldn't be in two places at once, so he was unable to attend; the multiple premieres have given all of the cast members their chance to shine (or their turn at promotional chores, depending on how you want to look at it.) πŸ˜‰ While Hugo's never been a fan of red carpet events per se, he's done more to promote Cloud Atlas than just about any other film he's done, attending premieres as far-flung as Toronto, Berlin, Moscow and Beijing. (He also did a few days of interviews in Los Angeles last fall, but skipped the official premiere there.)

Several UK and international papers and websites have run Hugo's promotional interviews with Susan Sarandon for Cloud Atlas; all were recorded last October in Los Angeles; some are re-edited versions of previously-seen material, but all are worth a look if you missed them the first time. The Huffington Post UK shared this video interview. [Note: Apparently, despite several format redesigns, LJ is still not very accommodating about embedding from non-YouTube sources. But go ahead and click here for a look.] Note: this isn't "exclusive" or even "new", but a re-edited version of the longer "Generic Interview" of Weaving and Sarandon posted to many sites last fall; that said, it's very entertaining and worth a look. Or another look. πŸ˜‰

And TOM Magazine posted the complete transcript of Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon's AP Roundtable interview from last October in LA. I'll add the text under the cut:

Susan Sarandon and Hugo Weaving: Cloud Atlas

QUESTION:  When you look in the mirror and see yourself in all that make-up, do you ever recognize yourself?

SUSAN SARANDON:  The only time in my life, and I’ve had lots of prosthetics in my life, that I have not recognized myself was when I had the Indian man make-up on.  And I think it was because of the contacts, really.  Because even in Enchanted, when I had the hag makeup, which hopefully didn’t look too much like myself, I had my own eyes.  In this, I wore contacts, which was the first time I’ve ever surrendered to the contact thing.  And, in fact, there were two teams of contact supervisors who just put the contacts in and took them out, there were so many flying around.

QUESTION:  Were each of your segments done in complete, or were there ever times when you were overlapping with other segments?

SUSAN SARANDON:  Are you kidding.  Take it, Hugo.

HUGO WEAVING:  No, unless you had a character that was just sort of there for a couple of scenes, and you did that on the one day, that was the only time that happened.  But, with a continuing character, absolutely not.  I think I started and ended the film with the same character.

SUSAN SARANDON:  But, you had one week where you did five or six characters.

HUGO WEAVING:  Yeah.  In one week sometimes you might be jumping from one to the other, from one day to the next.  But, in a funny way.  I mean, I’ve remarked on that, because I thought, ‘Oh, this is unusual.’  But, actually, when you’re doing it, on the day, you just focused on that one particular character and life and storyline.

SUSAN SARANDON:  It was more of a problem for the people who had to serve us up.  The scheduling and the makeup department was just moving.

HUGO WEAVING:  Imagine six totally different storylines, with all the actors playing in all of those stories, and then trying to schedule that.  It was an absolute nightmare and, of course, they said this schedule is set in stone; it can’t change.  And then Halle went and broke her ankle after two weeks and so the whole schedule changed quite regularly after that. But, it was pretty phenomenal the way they organized it.

QUESTION:  Did you use the multiple storylines as back stories to what you were playing, or were they all separate?

SUSAN SARANDON:  When you’re doing it, you’re not thinking outside of it, that metaphysical thing.  But, I think when you watch it, it’s quite clear that that’s what’s happening.  But, as Hugo said, you’re focusing completely on what you have to do that day and what that character knows and what that character wants.  It’s their job to leave it together.  Wouldn’t you say?

HUGO WEAVING:  Yeah, absolutely, you just focused on one thing on the day.  You can’t think about all the other characters.  But, having said that bit, prior to shooting, there was a sense with my six characters that there was definitely a journey, if you like, and a link between them.  They all seemed to have a similar sort of thrust, if you like.

So, there’s definitely a link between all of them, and a lot of them serve a similar sort of functional purpose within each story.

QUESTION:  Was there ever a moment where you were playing two characters in the same scene?

HUGO WEAVING:  No.  The editing definitely does that.  So, you might leave one room and enter another as another character.  That’s certainly happened.  Or, there might be a line that you say that then obviously reverberates over something else that is pertinent to another one of your characters in another story.

SUSAN SARANDON:  And when they were assigning the characters to different actors, like Hugo’s all have one thrust.  And Tom starts out as this evil person and works his way through to redemption. Mine were all kind of spiritual, or more enlightened.

HUGO WEAVING:  So, in that way, the doing of it wasn’t radically different from day to day, because you’re just focusing on staying with it.

SUSAN SARANDON:  What was radically different was the ensemble spirit, the repertory spirit that you just don’t find in films, this kind of horizontal organization of power.  So, even the people that had big parts were playing little parts.  Everyone’s together in the trailer, and there’s this festive kind of Cirque du Soleil spirit.  Tattoos coming on and all the noses.

HUGO WEAVING:  It was very infectious.

SUSAN SARANDON:  And the bravery.  I got there mid-shoot and I was scared because I didn’t know what was happening.  And it was a different tone.  It was so festive and so brave and people just jumping from one thing to the next.  So all the egos were left outside and that’s very rare in a film.  You get it in theater, but you don’t have an opportunity, really, to experience that in a film.  That was such a gift, really.

HUGO WEAVING:  And when you have multiple characters, there’s less preciousness about one of them, because there are many. That’s kind of bright.

QUESTION:  Did you feel that even though you were playing such diverse characters that there was a through line and you were playing the soul of a person for over 500 years?

HUGO WEAVING:  I think intellectually I understood that that was certainly a theme and a concept.  And I certainly made a thread between all those souls, if you like, or that one soul.  But then, as we were saying, once that’s there, the experience of playing each one had to be separate.

They’re in their own lifetimes, not aware of their link to someone else, unless they were perhaps an enlightened character.

SUSAN SARANDON:  Who gets to say what the theme of the film is.

HUGO WEAVING:  Yeah.

SUSAN SARANDON:  But, I think the audience is the one that makes the connection.

HUGO WEAVING:  Yeah.

SUSAN SARANDON:  We had a special little screening in Chicago for the cast and some of the crew, and we could see it.  We were laughing at certain things.  But then we hit Toronto and having an audience made such a huge difference.  Hearing them laugh so hard and ooh and boo.  That was my opportunity to actually hear a lot of the phrases that are very subtly repeated.  And things that happen visually, I hadn’t caught a lot of it and I was glad that I saw it a second time, because I liked it even more, actually.

I appreciated their skill in dovetailing all the stories much more.  Because they could have just done them in blocks.  But this whole idea of a door closing, another one opening, literally, and watching how the music works and everything, I was able to appreciate a lot of it much more the second time.

QUESTION:  Do you have any personal feelings about the theme of the regeneration of the soul through different lifetimes and all of that?

HUGO WEAVING:  I wouldn’t necessarily believe in reincarnation, but I certainly believe that all the actions that you take in your life stem from a belief, even if that belief is not conscious, even if it’s an instinctive sort of belief.  And those actions have an effect on other people around you, of course.  And then, those actions have reverberations into the future and can change people’s lives in the future.  So, I certainly believe in that sense of the cyclical nature of human life.

SUSAN SARANDON:  And I feel that how you spend your energy is how you create yourself.  Every day you have to be awake and aware and understand the ramifications and the reverberations.  And, at the same time, the people come into your life and jobs come into your life and children come into your life, that seems somehow to take you in a new direction that you maybe were longing for, but didn’t expect.  So, what you have to do is be flexible and awake, because certainly my life and the serendipity in my life is far more imaginative than I could have been if I had a plan.

I’m actually here because all my plans failed, so I celebrate that in this film.  It excites me, the serendipity of life.  It excites me the adventure that you don’t know what’s coming, from where it is, that will be handed up.  That’s up to you, then, to use.  That’s where the free will comes into it.

But if you’ve lost someone and you see their body when they’re dead, it’s clear that they’re not there.  So, whatever that essence is, energy, who knows what happens to that or where that goes.  So, maybe not, as Hugo says, the packaging, but there is some fabulous mystery and the cause and effect that happens in your life that you’re not aware of even how you affect people.

QUESTION:  What were the challenges of working with three directors, Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer?

HUGO WEAVING:  In this instance, really, there was no challenge about working with Lana and Andy and Tom.  Lana and Andy are very sort of in-tune anyway.  And they had met Tom some time before they came up with this project, and they loved his films and admired him and met him, and they all got on so well they kept wanting to see each other.  And then they decided that they should probably one day do a film together, whatever that might be.

And then it was over another period of time talking about what that project would be.  Cloud Atlas came up and they read that and talked about that and got excited about that.  So, once the script had been written and they’d worked on that together and finally managed to raise all the money, they got the team together.

I’d worked with Lana and Andy before, but when I met Tom, I was on Skype and he sort of bounded into this frame and Lana and Andy were there and Tom bounded into the background.  The three of them are going, ‘Hi, Hugo,’  And I thought, these three are so in-tune and so well suited to being together.  And that was after a lengthy pre-production period.

They just seem to be extraordinarily, all incredibly well-prepared, highly intelligent, very open to each other, and great lovers of actors and film.  And they share very similar ideas about life.  So, it was really not a challenge working with any of them at all.

QUESTION:  What was it like working with their different directing styles?

HUGO WEAVING:  As an actor, you work with different directors all the time, and we were never on the same set.  There was only one day that I saw them on the same set, because Tom had a shutdown period for one day.  But they never had to direct altogether anyway.  They sorted it beforehand.

SUSAN SARANDON:  They wrote it together.  So, they were literally on the same page and they spent that time, I think, battling everything out ahead of time, and trying to understand exactly how to make that happen.  And they delight in each other.

HUGO WEAVING:  Yeah, they do.

SUSAN SARANDON:  And, actually, they celebrate each other.  There’s no sense of competition.  It’s really fantastic.

HUGO WEAVING:  It’s very joyous seeing them all together.  It’s great.  What I find remarkable is that they not only manage to make this one, but then, all were all together in the editing process.  Now, that’s more interesting.

I mean, I have talked to them about it and they said, ‘Look, to be honest, it was difficult and we had to lose some of the things we loved most,’ but I think they said they had maybe one day where it was problematic and they had to think.  But, it wasn’t to do with a clash of personalities; it was just a difficult decision that they had to make.  They’re very well suited to each other.  And they’re very giving, generous people.  But they’re no dummies.

SUSAN SARANDON:  And Tom did the music.  So, that contribution wouldn’t have been there if he hadn’t been there.

And the Wachowskis are in such an interesting place right now, and the difference between how things were directed during Speed Racer, which was a completely different kind of cartoon, very exacting kind of thing, I think that this was much looser and much more funny than that.

QUESTION:  The Wachowskis seem to have become more open to press with this film.  Do you have the sense that they’ve changed over the years that you’ve known them?

HUGO WEAVING:  I have always found them wonderfully easy and joyous to be with.  From the moment I met them, we clicked and have laughed from that day on.  So, they’re very warm, smart, lovely people.

They’re just very shy and very protective of their privacy.  Some people find it very hard to be in this situation.  Talking to a vast audience or to a small group can be difficult.

SUSAN SARANDON:  Also, I think that what happens in this film subliminally, with the actors playing many different parts and with the stories being edited in a certain way and everything else, is that even though they don’t talk about it in the movie, subliminally what happens is this fluidity of gender and race and age and period.  Part of what happens is that you understand that this is everyone, no matter what the wrapping is, that that spirit of that person, the humanity, is what we all have in common.

I think it’s a gift to journalists that now is the time when they’re doing this, that they have something that is even bigger that has encouraged them to step out.  I mean, you’d have to talk to them about it, but it’s a very different kind of film with what they’ve asked the actors to do and what they’ve done, and the collaboration.  I think it’s just a very special moment in time where the work and the artists, they’re in a different place, and it’s a very brave thing for them to do it.

HUGO WEAVING:  Lots of changes have gone on.  But, fundamentally, these two people are of very much the same spirits that I first met the first day I met them years ago.  And they’re truly wonderful.

* * *

Note: If you missed the delectable audio version of this interview last fall, you can grab a copy here through February 25. Thanks again to Liz at Jim Sturgess Online for making this available. πŸ™‚

… And here's a hitherto unseen photo from the 8 September 2012 premiere of Cloud Atlas in Toronto:


Hugo Weaving and Katrina Greenwood at TIFF   Photo: Tyler Ledger via Facebook

New Cloud Atlas reviews continue to appear worldwide; the latest positive (or mixed but well-written) ones can be read at South China Morning Post, Kitten of Discord, IZ Reloaded, The Daily Record, The Sun Daily, The Wild Bore, The Hollywood News, The Upcoming, Hayes At The Movies, Box Office Buzz and Failed Critics. There's also an interesting article about Lana Wachowski, the film's depiction of fluid identities, and how this is challenging the media (and hopefully, those so stuck in old political-correctness tropes that they misconstrue the film's makeup and intentions) at F News Magazine.

In other Hugo Weaving News, Sydney Theatre Company's box office began selling single tickets for Beckett's Waiting For Godot, which will reteam Hugo with Richard Roxburgh, on February 11. Sydney Morning Herald reported the next day that STC's website and phonelines promtly crashed due to demand, prompting apologies on Twitter. According to STC's website, tickets for Godot (and The Maids, costarring Cate Blanchett and Isabel Huppert, another mega-draw) remain available, but if you want to go and haven't bought tickets yet, ACT FAST. πŸ˜‰ Tickets will probably be sold on eBay and via various ticket-brokers at extortionate prices… and STC often hold blocks of tickets to select shows back to make available closer to a play's engagement. The play runs November 12-December 14 this year; the play's webpage can direct you to best ticket availability; several nights are already sold out. No word yet on international tours, but with demand like this, you gotta have hope. (A rival production of Godot starring Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will play on Broadway later this year.) The Irish Echo also reported on the booming ticket sales for this production, so there is worldwide interest.

Finally, thanks to Elisa at Random Scribblings for uploading Hugo's recent Chinese media interviews to YouTube so I can finally embed them here. I'll include links back to the original pages as well:


from Ent.163.com


from TV.Sohu.com


from v.qq.com (interview with Hugo, The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer)


from Sina.com.cn


from ent.ifeng.com


compilation of m.1905.com videos of the premiere

All are well worth a look if you didn't check them out when I posted the links around the time of the Beijing premiere; Hugo gave some of his most in-depth videos in recent memory to Sina, iFeng and particularly Ent.163.

I hope we'll have some news or photos from the Healing set soon!   

Hugo Weaving at the AACTAs; More Cloud Atlas Beijing Coverage

Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

New photos from both last week's AACTA Awards in Sydney and last month's Beijing premiere (and press junket) for Cloud Atlas continue to turn up, so without further ado I'll post the latest material. Most photos will be under cuts for size reasons (ie they're nice 'n big.) πŸ˜‰

I did finally turn up that elusive ent.163.com Chinese TV interview so many photos alluded to (including the one below)… it was well worth the extra digging, as it's 30 glorious minutes long and features Hugo discussing a wide variety of topics, including the film and his larger career. Sorry I can't embed, but click on the link. It's well worth the time. And if you missed Hugo's other Chinese TV interview (mentioned in earlier posts) here are those links again: ent.ifeng.com, sina.com.cn, tv.sohu.com (overdubbed into Chinese). There's also a text transcript of a Hugo Weaving interview at ent.rexian.net.cn, and an in-depth interview featuring Hugo, the Wachowskis, Zhou Xun and Tom Tykwer at MTime.com (text again, with some great photos.)


Hugo Weaving being interviewed by ent.163.com

Here are some additional photos from the Cloud Atlas premiere in Beijing and related press events this past January 21-22:


MTime.com


MTime.com (plus next photo)


ent.163.com (plus next seven photos)

Other Cloud Atlas News: There's a selection of brief videos about the premiere at m105.com here, here and here. Contact Music reports that the film was slated to open at #1 in China despite competition from the latest James Bond film. Screen Crush posted a brief piece on Hugo's Cloud Atlas characters. The Daily Mail (UK) features a brief interview with Hugh Grant about the film. And Global Times features a detailed analysis of what was cut from the edited version of Cloud Atlas screened in China, written by a reporter who's seen both versions.  There's a thoughtful, in-depth review of the film at Dajia.qq.com (李小飞). and some genius has created a line of designer teas inspired by Cloud Atlas characters (including Hugo's old Georgie) at Adagio Teas. How they know Lapsang Souchong is my favorite? πŸ˜‰

Jim Stugess Online and Hi Def Digest are reporting that the US DVD/BluRay for the film has been delayed until roughly June. (No official release date had ever been announced, but many sites ran with the news that there would be a mid-January release based on a calendar listing at the Warner's site… that's been deceptive/incomplete before (remember the erroneous Hobbit Expanded Edition listing?) and no site had listed a DVD for sale or pre-sale, nor was there a press release detailing what the DVD might include… so this "delay" isn't really surprising under the circumstances, especially since the film has yet to open in some major markets.)

Speaking of Cloud Atlas openings, the UK premiere is slated for 18 February UKFilmPremieres (via Twitter) has announced that the guest list includes Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, James D'Arcy, Ben Whishaw and Hugh Grant… in other words, the British cast members. Hugo will probably be busy working on Healing for director Craig Monahan at the time; he noted that filming begins "in February" during Chinese press interviews for Cloud Atlas, so he might be working on that as I write this, though there's been no official word yet. I like the way that the film's massive cast has "tag teamed" all these international premieres. The film needs this sort of coverage and word of mouth.  

Several amazing new pics from the AACTA Awards have also been posted online over the past week:


WENN via MSN Online


WENN.com


Best Image/Pure People


Behind The Talent via Twitter


Renee Mitchell (@neizee via Twitter)


Hugo Weaving and Drew Pearson   Photo: Drewskew via Flickr


Hugo Weaving and Priscilla producer Al Clark   Photo: Jim Lee/The Star via Facebook


Martin Sacks, Essie Davis and Hugo Weaving            Photo: Jim Lee/The Star via Facebook


Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson and Damian Walshe-Howling    Photo: Belinda Rolland/The Star via Facebook


Hugo Weaving and Rebecca Gibney present an award during the telecast   Photo: The Star via Facebook

No, alas, none of Network Ten's footage of Hugo at the ceremony has made its way online. Most of the official AACTAs clips on YouTube are of award winners speaking in the press room AFTER their wins. I hope some actual footage from the ceremony shows up soon. Yvette has promised some video of the red carpet as soon as she has time, but no official journalists have managed to post any. To be fair, Hugo doesn't appear to have given any press interviews that evening, and didn't linger on the red carpet.

Here's an enlarged version of one of the Getty photos:


Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images via IMDb

In Other Hugo News: The Australian features a brief preview (and great photo) of STC's production of Waitig For Godot, which will star Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh next November in Sydney. And this Terence Stamp interview from The Daily Mail features an amusing anecdote about the filming of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Hugo Weaving AACTAs Photos, Beijing Cloud Atlas Coverage

Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

Hugo Weaving did indeed put in an appearance at the 2013 AACTA Awards (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards), and we already have photos, so without further ado…


Hugo Weaving arrives at the 2013 AACTA Awards in Sydney   Photo: Don Arnold/WireImage via Getty Images


AACTAs Instagram via Twitter

That's all so far, but probably just the beginning; according to the AACTAs Twitter feed, Hugo co-presented the evening's first award with Rebecca Gibney, an actress best known for TV roles in Australia, including Halifax FP, which Hugo guest-starred on in the mid-1990s. (The episode was entitled "Isn't It Romantic?" And yes, I've seen it. Several years ago there was a DVD bundling episodes of the series featuring guest shots by famous leading men, who also included Guy Pearce and Hugh Jackman. Gibney currently stars on the popular Australian series Packed to the Rafters. Oddly, the awards show isn't telecast live, but edited and broadcast later in the same evening, so the Twitter feed is currently in no-spoilers mode. (We already know Hugo isn't in the running for anything, because he had no Australian films released in the past year. He did win Best Supporting Actor last year for his performance in Oranges and Sunshine, but was unable to attend the ceremony at the time.

While we're waiting for additional AACTAs news or pics, I'm going to post all of the Beijing Cloud Atlas Premiere pics from Getty Images that have appeared since the first batch. (I posted their images of the January 21 press conference–they're the last 8 images in this entry— but not of the subsequent premiere and TV interviews the following day. I do, however, recognize some of these images from various Chinese websites, so some might be "repeats"… but they're well worth another look, aren't they?


Hugo does press for Cloud Atlas in Beijing, 22 January 2013. Photo: AFP via Getty Images


The film premiere/introduction   Photo: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images (plus next two)


The Beijing Cloud Atlas Red Carpet


Photo: TPG via Getty Images

Yvette (who has been so helpful she should probably be listed as our official Beijing/Australia Correspondent) πŸ˜‰  has completed her translation of the second of three Weibo fan reports of the Cloud Atlas premiere event; I'll include both the original (including photos) and translation below the cut. Apologies for some errors on my part in the previous entry; I posted all three reports in Chinese but only one English translation. No worries… all will eventually be posted properly. I've been under the weather for several days with laryngitis and a respiratory tract ailment, so I was probably foggy from cold meds. Nonetheless I'm sorry if I caused any confusion, and again offer profoundest thanks to Yvette for her efforts to and the fans who shared their experiences.

Original:
Credit:   @马仲蛋(http://weibo.com/xhiro)

Translation:

"By the time I heard the news that Cloud Atlas was coming to promote in China, I did not expect Mr Hugo Weaving would show up at all, because in my memory, he is not very enthusiastic about those kind of promoting stuff as compared to other actors. Therefore, when my friends and I got confirmed that Hugo did come to Beijing accompanying the directors, we rushed to the red carpet as fast as we could. And we were told the premiere was scheduled to be held inside a shopping/entertainment mall, which means at least it wouldn't be too cold :), since Beijing was bloody freezing that day. Thus, the last excuse was clear. I knew if I couldn't make it this time, I probably never would have the chance to meet him again >__< Then I went back home trying to find out something proper for him to sign, if possible. The LOTR DVD set/poster with Cate Blanchett's and Sir Ian McKellen's signatures was not in my Beijing home, and the playbill of Uncle Vanya was also left in my New York home…At last, I dug out a booklet of the LOTR trilogy I bought years ago when travelling in Australia πŸ™‚

The red carpet was floored from an escalator in the mall, all the way along the corridor, to the front door of the cinema. Perhaps we arrived too early, there weren't many fans/journalists around the red carpet by then. Just when I was answering a call, my friend shouted: Hugo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I quickly turned my head and saw the beard, alone, walked onto the escalator…Hugo was obviously a little scared all of a sudden, looked around trying to find where's the shout came from. My friend and I waved hardly to him and finally he saw us, showed us a sincere smile and then went on. Just at that moment, my heart almost stopped for a second!!!!!!!! Apparently, some people in the mall walked passed by were frightened by our shout as well. Our apologies~sorry guys…Guess he was to get some rest before the premiere πŸ™‚

After a while, actors/actresses/director and other showbiz people started to appear on the red carpet. Zhou Xun was almost the last to come, approximately in the last 10 minutes. Truly kneel down to her fans, so excited, so many, so strong……………………………..So when they were around Zhou Xun, we tried to get Hugo come over.
To be honest, I did't expect to have any close interactions with him at all. Last time I went to see Uncle Vanya in New York, that night he escaped from the front door. So to me, it's been happy enough just looking at him in 10 meters away, never thought he could come to chat with you or anything like that…The fact that he walked at the very end of the crew and frowned a bit, made me think he maybe not in good mood today.

But, we still tried!!! and it worked!!!! Hugo saw us and did come over, I quickly handed him my LOTR booklet. My voice must sound so weird since I was too thrilled!!!!!!!! I told him I went to see your Uncle Vanya twice last summer in New York, Hugo looked so very much surprised and then smiled warmer and warmer, replied: Oh, did you? Do you like it? πŸ™‚ I told him how much I loved the play, for him was the entire reason I went to see the show. And I also told him it's a pity I didn't catch him at the stage door. Hugo seemed a bit sorry and then said: well, you caught me here πŸ™‚ Then I went completely frozen and speechless!!!!! He was so incredible sexy, with his velvet voice and deep blue eyes, my mind just went blank at all. I was sooooooooooooooo touched by, that as the directors and other actresses kept walking, he still willing to stay for more seconds, quietly listening to me talking about Uncle Vanya, seemed no rush at all. Later I felt a little regretted that I forgot to tell him I loved his funny dancing on stage, and how much I loved him in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Hugo wrote his name very carefully when signing on my booklet, did he think otherwise I could't recognize his signature? πŸ™‚ Heard he was better at interacting with fans in NYC than at home, I felt he was even more considerate for fans in Beijing than in NYC. I then asked "May I have a photo with you?" Hugo nodded without hesitation, said "Sure!". I was over the moon!!!!!! since all these signing and photo were far beyond my expectation!!! Many thanks to my friends, who took several pics for me. Here's one I appreciated in particular, although it's been very blurring, I loved it very much! Hugo was smiling all the time and put his arm around my shoulder!!!!!!!!!! I was soooo happy that I could stand this close by him. Then I felt sorry for keeping him so long time, I thanked him sincerely again. As he moved on, I saw other fans on the other side of the red carpet screaming, Hugo was quite patient with everybody!!! And OMG, the sight of his tall and straight back was just gorgeous!!!!!!!!!

Before he walked into cinema, he was asked to wear the black 3D glasses (guess was the request of sponsers and medias) and posed by the door. Can you ever believe anyone could turn to Agent Smith right in front of you in one second????????? For a moment, you could hear nothing but the scream from everywhere…We even forgot to take photos of him posed with glasses….

It was a surreal night, at least for me πŸ™‚ I looooooove his smile, looooooove every single wrinkle around his beautiful eyes!!!!!!!!

Suddenly, Beijing was not a stranger to me as I to her. I love Beijing, love my home, too."
—————
THE END

 
Hugo Weaving fangirls… we come from many nations, cultures and backgrounds, but I think every one of us recognizes those feelings. Some things are universal. πŸ˜‰

Yes, it was challenging catching Hugo at the stage door in New York last July, because he often ducked out a secret, second door in order to dodge flocks of autograph sellers (none of whom cared about Uncle Vanya) who wanted him to sign stacks of 8 x 10 glossies of Agent Smith for them to sell on eBay. These idiots and the ever-present paparazzi created an oppressive atmosphere for both real fans and the actors. Hugo was much more open and friendly with fans in Washington DC the year before and at BAM in 2006, and I hope that if STC returns to the US, they're treated with more respect. Maybe they'll just have to avoid Manhattan– I don't know. But I feel terrible thinking people came from as far as China and missed their stage door experience because professional stalkers made it such an unpleasant place. (Cate Blanchett literally couldn't leave her hotel without photographers dogging her every step.) But I'm glad that this particular fan got a second chance. Hugo really is extraordinarily modest and generous with fans most of the time, but is uncomfortable with the trappings of "celebrity".    

The AACTAs not-so-live telecast has now officially started, so I'll be following online coverage to see if any more pics appear… Hugo did present the evening's first award. The film favored to sweep this year is The Sapphires, which is about a 1960s singing group featuring women from an Aboriginal background. 

I'll add updates as they appear, and again thank everyone who contributed to tonight's entry. 

UPDATE: Another lovely photo from tonight's AACTA Awards ceremony:


Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

 It's too bad Hugo couldn't have presented awards to Richard Roxburgh (who Best TV Actor for Rake) or Last Ride director Glendyn Ivin (who won for his recent series Puberty Blues)…


Photo: Dallas Kilponen/Sydney Morning Herald


Richard Roxburgh with his new AACTA   Photo: Don Arnold/WireImage


Photo: Craig Greenhill/Herald Sun

For additional AACTAs coverage, go to Brisbane Times (photo gallery), Big Pond News, The Herald Sun and The Australian.

For Australian Cloud Atlas coverage (including a new behind the scenes video), go to YourMovies.com.au. There's also an enthusiastic new review at Mark Battistella Films.

I'll update tomorrow with any additional photos or footage (technically, later today. Sometimes when I'm "on Australia time" updating, I forget I've technically pulled an all-nighter.) ;)… Hugo doesn't seem to have walked the red carpet, and only briefly stopped for photographers. But he's given us more than enough lately, so we can hardly complain.