Tag Archives: Tom Tykwer

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˜‰

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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.

More Hugo Weaving Pics & Video Links: Cloud Atlas Beijing Premiere; Hugo to attend AACTA Awards

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.

Images from the Cloud Atlas premiere and press junket in Beijing, China keep pouring in… I have at least fifty new ones to share, and there might be more before I'm finished. Unfortunately, I missed Hugo's Singapore (Kiss 92) radio interview last night due to a combination of fatigue and mistaken information I really should have double-checked: the reporter who conducted the interview is featured on TWO Singapore radio stations, and only linked to one of them from his personal blog… turns out that was the WRONG one. I found this out a mere 20 minutes too late, having spend several hours listening to the wrong station stream American pop music so bad it could be labeled a form of "extraordinary rendition." πŸ˜‰  I hope some of you fact-checked this one better than I did, and I'm very sorry to everyone I gave the wrong link. I feel terrible about this, and hope I'm granted a reprieve in the form of the station re-airing or posting the recording of the interview.

Embeddable video of the Beijing premiere remains in short supply; this version of the red carpet photo call appeared on YouTube, but Hugo's interview was inexplicably exised; you can see the complete version, with comments from Hugo, Zhou Xun, the Wachowskis, Tom Tykwer and Zhu Zhu at Sina.com; they also have a 30 minute interview with the directors. (I shared the link to their Hugo Weaving interview yesterday, but here it is again– more than worth a second look, as is Phoenix Entertainment's (ifeng.com). Hugo's revealed some snippets about his background and interests that I'd never heard before in these interviews, in addition to promoting Cloud Atlas and sharing tales from the set.

I'd better start posting those photos, because there are a lot of 'em. Thanks particularly to my friend Yvette for her assistance in searching Chinese microblogging sites and social networks for some great fan photos. Trying to read Chinese press articles via translator sites can induce apoplexy in short order, making me extraordinarily grateful for all my bilingual and multilingual friends in the Hugo fandom.  


Hugo Weaving with Lana and Andy Wachowski and Chinese TV presenter Charles Zhang;  Photo: Tieba.Baidu.com


News.163.com


The 22 January premiere screening; Photo: Zhang Mo/China Daily


CN.IBTimes.com


Xinhua.net


Cloud Atlas Chinese promo poster; Photo: masdygmyc.com (plus next three images)


Sina.com


news.MTime,com (plus next photo)


21CN (plus next four)


CNTV


CNTV
 

ent.qq.com (plus next four)

Thanks to Lyrids MC for sharing the next ten photos of Hugo interacting with fans, from Chinese social networking sites (additional credits on photos):



ent.ifeng.com


China Daily/Zhang Mo


Hinews.cn (plus next photo)


Sina.cn (plus next two)


Was Andy Wachowski a ballet dancer in a previous life? πŸ˜‰


If anyone has video of the film introduction interviews, I'd love to see it!


M1905.cn (plus next two photos; they also have a brief red carpet video review)


Straits Times/AFP (plus next photo)


CFP/China.org.cn


Image China via xin,msn.com (plus next photo)


Hugo behind the scenes at an ent 163 TV interview; Photo: Ent 163 (plus next seven)


No, I haven't found video for this interview yet, but I'm looking. πŸ˜‰

Also not sure what's up with the stuffed animals. (Yesterday Hugo posed with a fox… is that an octopus?) I assume they're mascots of some sort, possibly of the various TV stations, but can only guess.)

Apologies for any duplications; in some cases I'm trying to provide larger versions of images previously shared, but I now have over 150 images from those two days in my archives, many with minute differences. That's why the fan photos are so special.

There's an additional, minute and a half long, edited red carpet video at Taiba Baidu. You can read articles (English-language) about the film's censorship controversy at The Herald Sun and South China Morning Post.  I'd love to hear from a fan who's seen both cuts and can describe exactly what was edited out; there aren't 40 full minutes of graphic sex or violence in the director's cut. πŸ˜‰ Popcorn Addict joins the ranks of those condemning the film's American awards snubs.    

In other Hugo Weaving News, Hugo is scheduled to appear at next week's AACTA Awards in Sydney (January 30), though he isn't scheduled to present and isn't nominated this year. (He won Best Supporting Actor at last year's AACTAs, which he was unable to attend.) I hope clips or photos of the event are eventually posted, because there's never an international telecast of the full show, and only in recent years have excerpts/highlight reels been posted. I have been able to obtain (fan-made) DVDs of past AFI and IF ceremonies, but my sources for those have lately dried up… fortunately I do have footage of the 2005 events when Hugo won for Little Fish. (See my YouTube account). At any rate, you can read more at The Daily Telegraph and ArtsHub. Russell Crowe is scheduled to host, and Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett are listed as presenters.

There's a nice review by jimmygils of Hugo's film Last Ride here— it can now be streamed via Netflix in addition to rented (or you can just buy a few copies like I did.) "…Everyone remembers Hugo Weaving as cool shades Agent Smith from the Matrix Trilogy, however I will remember him from this performance.  If you want to fill 90 minutes of your life with a drama adventure, check this movie out." My kinda guy. πŸ˜‰

I'm running on my third day in a row of very little sleep, so I'm going to grab a little down-time before psychosis sets in… I hope we haven't seen the end of Beijing photos and videos yet, because this has been quite a rush. 

More Cloud Atlas Beijing Pics, Video Links, New Hugo Weaving Interview

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 and videos keep coming in from the Cloud Atlas Beijing press conference (January 21) and premiere (January 22). I’ll keep adding more links and items as they arrive (and I can find time), but fans will want to check the videos first: Sina.com.cn has posted video of the 13 minute solo interview with Hugo Weaving I provided a rough text translation of yesterday… needless to say, the video is better. πŸ˜‰ Unfortunately I can’t embed (LJ remains very fussy about which sites they’ll accept embeds from) but the video should stream directly in all locations. And massive thanks to Yvette for her download of the hourlong interview with Hugo, Zhou Xun and the directors and producers from v.qq.com. If you didn’t catch her link in the comments from yesterday’s entry, here it is again. Β And yes, my wild guess that Hugo meant Tony Leung when asked what Chinese entertainers he’d like to work with was in fact correct and not just my wishful thinking. (The text version just said “Tony”). πŸ˜‰

Lana Wachowski addressed the censorship/editing issue Cloud Atlas has faced in its Chinese release in an English-language China.org.cn interview (some 40 minutes of the film were removed, sex and violence being reasons most commonly cited.) She allowed that it’s fair that fans who might want to see the version of the film its makers intended might seek it out online, but lamented that censorship and the sort of staggered international releases of films that have driven us all crazy only fuel internet piracy and shortchange international film fans.

Here are the latest photos… some are very similar to or are enlargements of images posted last night… I hope no one minds. πŸ˜‰


Hugo sits for a TV interview with TV Sohu

Photobucket
Cloud Atlas Beijing Press Conference; L to R: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Hugo Weaving, Zhu Zhu Β Photo: Xinhua.net


Photo: Associated Press


Photo (plus next 3): AP/Ng Han Guan/SIPA


L to R: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Zhou Xun, Hugo Weaving


XinMSN (plus next one )


Thumbnails from Rex Features (anyone have an account there…) πŸ˜‰


Thanks to LyridsMC πŸ˜‰


China.org.cn (plus next two)


Hugo Weaving and Zhu Zhu


The formal Cloud Atlas premiere January 22 in Beijing; Photo: Xinmin/Wang Shen via Bulgarian News Agency (!)


Still from Hugo’s video interview with Sina.com.cn


CRI Online (plus next 2)


Douban.com


ent.ifeng.com (plus next one)


(I predict these’ll be a Tumblr animated GIF in about…oh…five minutes). πŸ˜‰


Elle China (plus next 4 : there’s a large gallery of images at the sites, but several are duplicates I’ve already posted.)


Yule.sohu.com (plus next 17 )

Additional Chinese media coverage of Cloud Atlas: Ent.lnd.com.cn, People.com.cn, Douban.com, and news.eastday.com. A lot of these stories have similar material and quotes from the press conference and other interviews previously cited here. I’ve only found the one photo of the actual premiere so far, so this probably isn’t remotely everything there is to find… back soon with more. πŸ˜‰ Thanks to Elisa at RS and Yvette for their assistance and enthusiasm.

There’s a slideshow of large images of Hugo doing interviews for Beijing TV show YuleSohu.com and a transcript of the interview here… I’ll keep looking for video, because I don’t have time to post a translation at the moment and am not happy with what Google’s giving me for one. πŸ˜‰ But Hugo makes additional interesting comments about farming and not being particularly interested in a career as a Hollywood villain. πŸ˜‰ UPDATE: I’ve managed to separate the interview photos from the gallery format and embed them above… no video…yet.) ANOTHER UPDATE: We have video! Click here. Alas, no embedding again. And it’s maddeningly dubbed-over, so if anyone has a copy with original audio, please let me know. If only so we may finally figure out what that little fox toy is all about. πŸ˜‰

Additional Hugo Quotes:

Jin Qian Entertainment: Hugo Weaving:”Obviously [despite working for]Β Β three different directors, acting in several completely different types of movies, I feel [Cloud Atlas] is [tonally] so consistent. [Each film set was aΒ distinctΒ entity as we worked, but],Β the effect
of the final presentation is amazingly consistent, [implying] there is a tacit understanding [amongst the directors].”

On Lana Wachowski: “”Lana’s appearance [obviously] has changed, but at heart she hasn’t essentially changed, as usual, she likes to ask questions, and her curiosity is still very strong.”

This article at 022.net suggests that it was Hugo who initiated the Rockette/high kick dance by the cast in all those press conference photos, but a precise translation of what exactly happened eludes me. πŸ˜‰


022.net

This positive review (Yule Sohu) review hints that the film will face the same challenges in China that it did in the US: “Both as Β a metaphysical construct, and a physical experience, this is my favorite [kind of] movie. Market prospects? It’s difficult to say. Chinese audiences like shallow films like “Titanic”… but also [go to see more challenging films]. Box office prediction has become increasingly similar to a gambling lottery…. All I can say is it’s a good movie. ”

There’s another new solo interview featuring Hugo at v.ifeng.com… it’s over 17 minutes long and covers some of the same ground as the previous two, but has some interesting additional details, including an account of his previous visit to China 20 years ago (I’m still trying to figure out what “filming” he might be referring to, but it sounds like he was mostly there to travel.) He also hints that his next film project (almost certainly Craig Monahan’s Healing) begins shooting in February, as well as referencing the STC production of Waiting For Godot later this year. Kudos to Ifeng and Sina for sharing their interviews WITHOUT overdubs! Whether or not I share a common language with an artist, I want to hear him or her speaking. (And yes, I have returned some Chinese films– mostly of the Hong Kong action variety– to Netflix without viewing them when I discovered there was no subtitles option, only overdubs. And yes, I’m fairly certain one involved Tony Leung.) πŸ˜‰ Β Here are some stills:


Photo: ent.ifeng.com (plus next one)

I’ve also found some new photos of the official Beijing premiere of Cloud Atlas (which was January 22, the night after the press conference.)


Li Xueshi photo/China News.com


L to R: Hugo Weaving, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Zhou Xun, Tom Tykwer, Zhu Zhu
Photo: Sina via iqilu.com


Xinmin.msn.com (plus following photo)


TungStar via Sina.com (plus following photo)


In case you wanted to see this photo. Again. πŸ˜‰ (People.com.cn)

I’ll close this entry, as we’re getting into the wee hours again. I wish Singapore Radio station Kiss 92 had told me ahead of time that they wouldn’t actually be AIRING their interview with Hugo until 6pm local time (5am EST)… could’ve saved myself these past two hours of miserable American pop music. I hope Singapore’s home-grown artists are better than the stuff they import from us. πŸ˜‰ But I will try to embed or link to that interview once it’s available.

Here’s the Youtube embed of the (overdubbed) Yule Sohu interview:

Hugo Weaving Attends Beijing Cloud Atlas Premiere (Photos, Video, 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.

Some completely unexpected by welcome Hugo Weaving news to report: Hugo attended the Beijing premiere of Cloud Atlas yesterday, along with directors Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer and costar Zhou Xun, who finally gets some proper attention on her home turf. (She portrayed Yoona 939, Zachry's sister Rose, and the male hotel clerk who helps Luisa Rey break into Sixsmith's room.)

There's a 20 minute press conference video available here (unfortunately, I haven't been able to convince LJ to accept the embed code…). Hugo speaks at 8.26 and 17.00 but the whole thing is well worth a look; you can infer most of the questions through the answers, though one reporter asks Hugo a particularly challenging question in English. πŸ˜‰ I'll try to transcribe Hugo's comments soon. Lana Wachowski makes an impassioned defense of the film's cross-gender and -racial casting… and I'll have to add once again that anyone hung up on this point doesn't understand the film and is blinkered by misguided identity politics.  

I've also found a few photos and will add more as they become available; there's a bit of a language barrier, but I have figured out Hugo's name in Chinese ι›¨ζžœ·η»΄ζ–‡, so that should point me in the right direction. I can't translate anything written in Chinese with any degree of nuance, so I'll apologize for that up front. πŸ˜‰


Hugo at the 20 January Beijing press conference. Photo: weibo.com/dianyinguntu via sinaimg.cn

Cloud Atlas was edited by some 30 minutes in its Chinese release, mostly to excise sexual scenes, and violence (which must make the Neo Seoul segment about five minutes long.) πŸ˜‰  However, the Chinese trailer (which is much more spoiler-filled than the previous versions) has its share of shocking moments, including several deaths, so the film hasn't been completely censored. I'd be interested in knowing what specifically was changed, if anyone's seen both versions.


Hugo Weaving as Boardman Mephi: Chinese promo stills from sina.com.cn


Hugo Weaving as Haskell Moore


Hugo Weaving as Nurse Noakes and Gotz Otto as Withers

Hugo has given other interviews to the Chinese media as well; he told xinmin.cn "I don't feel that [my] characters perceive themselves as the so-called" villain; instead I focused on their individual motives and drives." The movie's theme is one of karma, Hugo believes, "…[that] everything one does will have a certain impact on others and the world."  About the actors' performances in the film, Hugo Weaving says, "The film is not a competition between one actor and another, but each their own roles to strenthen the entire team. In addition, Hugo said, the stunning martial arts fisticuffs  [of his past roles] won't be as much of factor in future roles: "[The physical aspect of] 'The Matrix' was very hard", he said with a smile that [now that he's older, he probably should allow for certain concessions to age]"

Again, the translation is rough, so apologies for any imprecision… if you can read Chinese, the original text is here.


Zhou Xun and Hugo Weaving at the Beijing press conference Photo: xinmin.cn

An article at hinews.cn quotes Hugo briefly about the film's themes: "The sense partnership [with the Wachowskis] has remained strong and I was intrigued by the the reincarnation concept in the stories, [Lana Wachhowski] has particularly strong feelings on the subject [of transformation of identity]. I can't speak for her but I can feel it in her passion for this project." They also pointlessly rehash Transformers-gate, but I suspect everyone's already read those quotes in the original English. (So far as I can tell, they just quoted the Collider piece rather than asking Hugo directly.) Needless to say, I still don't understand the fuss over this issue, and I'm fairly certain Hugo doesn't either. He shouldn't be permanently tethered to an unsubstantial voice role which rendered him unrecognizable in the first place. Hugo's six roles are noted at people.com.cn (and there's a film still of Hugo as Bill Smoke); no quotes from him, but some nice comments from author David Mitchell at that site.


HHugo Weaving interviewed by Beijing media for Cloud Atlas; Photos: sina.com.cn via hinews.com.ca

Yes, I'm looking for video of that interview, but you can read the text at hinews.com.ca; rough tranlation follows:

Q:  "Cloud Atlas" feels like a dream in which of all the actors in the movie plays multiple roles, including different genders and different identities, what did it feel like for you the first time you read the scrip? Did you know what kind of trip/journey you were getting involved with?

Hugo Weaving: When we were filming V for Vendetta seven years ago, [with a lot of the same film crew], 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 understand what the basic story was. If I had not read the original, I think that it would have been much more difficult to read the script. For me, the most fun thing to read the script was that the story structure is completely new, completely different 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. So I am fascinated by the structure of the film.

Q: In real life you're a gentleman, a good person. But Wachowski movies, you are always cast as the bad guys. Do you know why Wachowski always do this to you?

Hugo Weaving: Our first collaboration was on 'The Matrix'; when I was in talks to play Agent Smith, and read the script, I found the character very funny. I enjoyed the filming process, [working on that character] always made me laugh. The Wachowskis had a similar take on Smith;  they also feel he's very funny. So I guess [they] knew I could take on these sorts of roles because we opened our friendship and collaboration with that role, but of course we're good friends in real life.

Q: In this movie, all of a sudden you play not one, but six of the bad guys. How did this feel?

Hugo Weaving: I have never played six characters in the same film. Each role is very different, but they also have in a lot in common. Let's say they need through killings, persecution, slavery, and and other forms of control, they are invested in the maintenance of a system. Some of these roles might be a fatherly [like Haskell Moore], but they resort to evil means to fulfill their agendas. They do not perceive themselves as pure villains, nor do I portray them deliberately as "the bad guys"; I like to play contradictory roles.

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 chalenging; it took four hours to apply. I have gotten used to wearing heavy costmes on sets before, but also lose yourself in the process of putting on makeup. It is not easy, but I really enjoyed that process.

Q: Do you know some Chinese movies and actors? Would you be interested in working with filmmakers in China?

Hugo Weaving:  I liked Tony [Leung?]. And director Ang Lee. Although do not know him, I very much hope I could collaborate with him someday.

Again., that's a very loose translation, though it helps that Hugo's answered similar questions about the film in previous press junkets.


Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Hugo Weaving and Zhou Xun and Zhu Zhu at the Cloud Atlas Beijing press conference. Photo:  Yangtze Evening News via China Daily Online

I'll keep a lookout for other photos and articles from the Beijing Cloud Atlas premiere… great to see Hugo still doing all he can for the film, and I know the Chinese fans will appreciate it. (Is this Hugo's first time in China? I've often suspected he chooses premieres selectively based on which cities he can visit.) πŸ˜‰

In non-Beijing Hugo News, Jeremy Ratnam has just announced via Twitter that he'll be interviewing Hugo on Kiss FM 91.3 tomorrow at 2pm (Singapore time, ie 13 hours ahead of EST and nine ahead of GMT) and is taking potential questions. I always ask something obscure like "Will we ever get to see The Key Man", so my questions never get passed along. Actually, I might also implore this reporter and any others to not refer to Hugo as "The Matrix Man", which probably makes him wince internally. πŸ˜‰ Cloud Atlas also recently opened in Singapore, so questions will probably focus on that film… which is fine with me.

Recent Cloud Atlas Reviews/Articles: Straits Times, Kyle Garvey, Poached Mag, Finally Surfacing (great, incendiary essay on Hollywood and the American media's utter incomprehension of the film), Cool Awesome Movies, IZ Reloaded, F Movie Mag, Alex's East Asian Studies, Twisted Samuelle, SG New Wave, Dan Martin (Italian), Positifcinema (Italian), Cinefatti (Italian), Subash Movie Reviews,   Also: Asia One reprinted a selection of quotes from previous press conferences (including some comments from Hugo about Nurse Noakes) in advance of the Beijing premiere. Cloud Atlas is nominated for Outstanding Wide-Release Film by the GLAAD Awards. And STV promotes the film's Glasgow Film Festival screening February 17, in advance of the UK opening the next day.

Recent Hobbit: AUJ Reviews: The Daily Athenaeum, Deerfield Review, USU Statesman, FSU Torch, Catholic Leader.


Hugo Weaving as Bill Smoke in Cloud Atlas. Chinese promo stills: sina.com.cn


Hugo Weaving as Old Georgie


Hugo Weaving, Tom Tykwer, Lana and Andy Wachowski. Photo (plus next three): Hinews.cn

Alongside these photos from Hinews.cn were additional interview comments from the directors and Hugo; I'll print a translation of Hugo's remarks below:

Hugo Weaving: The beginning of the film was shot in two places: I spent three weeks in the United Kingdom [Glasgow, Scotland]. [Then] the Wachowskis' Neo Seoul Korean segment took three weeks. We all regrouped in Germany [at Studio Babelsberg] , but there they are also divided the directing tasks. The locations were separated very close, within walking distance. We had preparatory work to do before the shooting; the directors were very helpful and cooperative during this process, very generous, selfless. Preparatory work [on this kind of project] is essential, so when it came time to film the actors between the two groups [of directors and crews] there were very convenient transitions. If not not for this careful preparation, we couldn't have completed the film.

Hugo Weaving: [The Asian actors in Cloud Atlas] had a strong work ethic, and were accustomed to working at a faster pace [than most Western actors]. I think the trend of internationalization [in filmmaking] is not the only way [of doing it], but one which will become increasingly common. Films and audiences will become more international in scope, and this is a very exciting thing. Cloud Atlas is such a work.

Hugo Weaving : You recognize [that] each role is very important, there is no bit-part players. My characters exist in six different time periods, but they represent the oppressors. In order to protect his own interests, each [impinges on the rights of others in some way] , to protect the system that he has been successful in; he believes he is a pillar of the era, feels that he acts in protection of the basic values ​​of that society. But each role [is morally] tangled [and each is] far from perfect.

[After one of the Chinese announcers says that he finds Cloud Atlas "more international [in scope] than a typical superhero film"]

Hugo Weaving : I very much agree with you…[the creative team]  jumped from familiar territory to uncharted territory, to feel the surprise of the unknown. All those involved in the movie are very brave.

Lana Wachowski : We have been in use this topic to explore these issues of gender, race, in the works. [In The Matrix, charchters'] actual role of gender is not the same as with the interpretation of it in outside world. Gender is the proposition that we have been exploring, is one of our most important cultural issues.
Hugo Weaving : In "V for Vendetta", this theme of performance is very obvious
.
Lana Wachowski : In "V for Vendetta" female characters always want to take off their masks, while men discuss the need for this mask, of gender roles; [V and Evey] also quoted Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" , in which characters masquerade outside of in different gender roles…We have been discussing this proposition, and will continue to explore it."…

Hugo Weaving : The movie is like a multi-part canvas of multiple voices, expressing a common theme for me, very creative; [the] novel and screenplay movie have this feeling, I believe the Chinese audience will be pleasantly surprised.

Frustrating news: there's a 35 minute video of one of the Beijing interviews here, but my access is being blocked. I can't translate the popup explaining why, but international viewing restrictions are often to blame. If anyone can get ahold of this footage: please let us know!


Zhou Xun and Hugo Weaving at the Beijing press conference. Photo: xinmin.cn


All photos in this section: xinmin.cn


Here's a variation from The Yangzte Daily via News 163

From Wuham Morning:

…And Henan Business Daily

…And a few more from xinmin.cn (next four)

Hugo Weaving: "[Cloud Atlas's themes] can be about kinds of reincarnation or the butterfly effect, a little thing [in one person's life] that may eventually affect the whole world." He also said "You have to learn to laugh at yourself" when asked how he felt about the Wachowskis calling him "their evil Muse". (I personally wish they'd quit it…)

More on why his Matrix days are behind him (via Wuhan Morning): "I think [that if one is serious about Kung Fu] one should be training begins from the age of 6, rather than the 36-year-old I was when I began 'The Matrix'. I trained very hard, but now I'm older, and probably shouldn't try it."

Getty Images' pics of the event now available:


Hugo Weaving at the Beijing Cloud Atlas press conference; ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images (plus next 8)


I'm now thinking I could make an entire 12 month calendar featuring these Rockettes photos of the cast. πŸ˜‰
L to R: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Hugo Weaving, Zhou Xun, Zhu Zhu


Hugo arrives at the Beijing premiere


…looking like the proverbial cat who swallowed the canary. πŸ˜‰


Hugo greets costar Zhou Xun at the press conference

 OK, that should tide you over for… a few hours anyhow. πŸ˜‰ Back soon if I find more… again, if anyone has good-quality video of any of these interviews, Hugo's international fans would love to see it!