Is it weird that I’ve never been all film-geeky about Hugo Weaving? It’s not that I actively dislike him or anything – I actually think he might be a great throwback to the wonderfully weird character actors of the Golden Age of Hollywood. He’s just… not a leading man. But he’s a solid-to-great character actor, and his IMDB is incredible. Hugo is in the new WTF film Cloud Atlas, as well as The Hobbit (which comes out in December), so Hugo has begun to do some press for his films. When he sat down for an interview with Collider, he was asked about his voice work on the Transformers films – he’s the voice of Megatron. This is what was said, in context:
Collider: As the voice of Megatron, has Michael Bay called about the next Transformers movie yet?
WEAVING: No. That’s a weird job for me because it honestly was a two-hour voice job, initially. I was doing a play and I actually didn’t have time, anyway. It was one of the only things I’ve ever done where I had no knowledge of it, I didn’t care about it, I didn’t think about it. They wanted me to do it. In one way, I regret that bit. I don’t regret doing it, but I very rarely do something if it’s meaningless. It was meaningless to me, honestly. I don’t mean that in any nasty way. I did it. It was a two-hour voice job, while I was doing other things. Of course, it’s a massive film that’s made masses of money. I just happened to be the voice of one of the iconic villainous characters. But, my link to that and to Michael Bay is so minimal. I have never met him. I was never on set. I’ve seen his face on Skype. I know nothing about him, really. I just went in and did it. I never read the script. I just have my lines, and I don’t know what they mean. That sounds absolutely pathetic! I’ve never done anything like that, in my life. It’s hard to say any more about it than that, really.
I think I understand what he’s saying, and I really don’t believe he was trying to throw shade on Michael Bay or the Transformers franchise. I think he was, in essence, trying to explain how weird it is to not have any real emotional or intellectual connection to a film that you really only experience for two hours in a sound booth. But… Michael Bay didn’t react to it that way. You’d think that Hugo had called Michael Bay “Hitler” and refused to be videotaped whilst washing the Ferrari. This is what Bay had to say:
“Do you ever get sick of actors that make $15 million a picture, or even $200,000 for voiceover work that took a brisk one hour and 43 minutes to complete, and then complain about their jobs?
With all the problems facing our world today, do these grumbling thespians really think people reading the news actually care about trivial complaints that their job wasn’t “artistic enough” or “fulfilling enough”? I guess The Hollywood Reporter thinks so. What happened to people who had integrity, who did a job, got paid for their hard work, and just smiled afterward? Be happy you even have a job – let alone a job that pays you more than 98% of the people in America.
I have a wonderful idea for all those whiners: They can give their “unhappy job money” to a wonderful Elephant Rescue. It’s the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Africa. I will match the funds they donate.”
[From Michael Bay’s blog post (now deleted) via Indie Wire]
Eh. Once again, Hugo’s thing didn’t really feel like he was whining or complaining – he was trying to explain how weird it felt to have no real connection to a piece of work he contributed to. But… I can’t believe I’m saying this… Michael Bay does have a point. Of course Bay’s point is distorted by his own immaturity and bitchiness, but there’s still a valid point somewhere in there: if you are an actor making crazy money for very little work, maybe it would be best to just STFU up whatever “qualms” you have. If you’re just going to bitch about the movie you just did for millions of dollars, just don’t do the f—king movie.
PS… Hugo looks like the love child of Sam Neill and Hugh Laurie.
Photos courtesy of WENN.