Hugo Weaving regrets doing ‘Transformers’ & Michael Bay pitches a hissy

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.

[From Collider]

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.

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76 Responses to “Hugo Weaving regrets doing ‘Transformers’ & Michael Bay pitches a hissy”

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  1. alons-y alonso says:

    Hey! Hugo Weaving is a national treasure :)

  2. mia girl says:

    Sorry, on principle, I can’t agree with Michael I’m a big Bayby.

    I think there is such condescension in his statement, particularly the phrase “grumbling thespians”. How about we call you a “grumbling director” who has to take this stuff to another level? . Weaving was not complaining. But Michael Bayby has such a thin skin he can’t see nuance. It’s all visceral reaction (much like his movies)

    I wonder if he had these high minded thoughts while watching another young bikini-clad actress wash his cars.

  3. Sara says:

    I agree completely with that douchelord Bay. I HATE actors who crap on the franchises that made them tons of money (especially Shia Labeouf and Robert Pattinsin). Be thankful you can make enough money to be able to do what you love, ungrateful twats. /rant over

    • carrie says:

      i dislike when the actors bite the hand that feeds them

      he did 2 hours of work paid $250 000!

    • Cherry says:

      Have to agree. Everyone knows Bay is a raving idiot, but he does have a point here. ‘Be happy you even have a job – let alone a job that pays you more than 98% of the people in America.’ Well said.

      • yoyo says:


        I was ready to go all negative on Bay but actually he’s 100% right it pains me to say.

        If you pay me 100 thousand an hour I’ll read WHATEVER you want me to. Actually, I’ll give you a 90% discount!

        If weaving had just said: well I had no idea what i was doing, that’ s one thing. The problem is that he says he would never do this again, because its just really below him. Really? Well don’t you just have rich guy problems! (rolling my eyes)

    • ZenB!tch says:

      I agree with Michael *cough* Bay because his one redeeming quality is that he is a huge animal person and I’m a huge animal person. I’d rather have the money go to the elephants than some snotty thespian (as in SNLs Master Thespian) who looks down on a job that paid more than $100K an HOUR.

      That is more than most people make in 3 years.

      Hugo Weaving may not have felt a “connection” but he knew it was a Michael Bay movie. If he was really an artist vs. an artiste that should have stopped him from doing it but an extra $200K never hurt anyone right?

      It sounds like sour grapes because he wasn’t called to do the voice again – assuming his character is in all of them. His work as the red Nazi creature in Captain America was Oscar caliber, right?

      Um… Which one is Megatron?

  4. yellowshaba says:

    I too hate when actors complain about trivial shit, but I don’t I don’t think mr weaving meant to take a personal dig at mr bay or his film, but the narcissist that michael is of course has to take it that way…what would be funny is if a bunch of ” thespians” took up his offer and actually donated to the wildlife fund cuz I don’t believe michael bay would donate his money charitably…ever….

    • ZenB!tch says:

      Actually – and it hurts me to say this because I do not want to promote the good side of Michael Bay (but he is an animal person so I feel like I need to do it) -

      Michael Bay used his private jet to fly in doctors and supplies to Haiti and he has donated to a lot of animal causes. Thankfully, unlike Sean Penn there was no need to expound on it in detail.

      I find both Bay and Weaving to be narcissistic. It makes sense an actor and a director but it also makes me wonder how anything gets done in Hollywood.

  5. Charlotte says:

    I just read this story on aother site and popped over to see if it would be covered here. I love Hugo Weaving. How many actors are consistently in the bigest movies of the decade, but never papped?
    Michael Bay makes my skin crawl.

  6. dooliloo says:

    wft? even I got a job yet it doesn’t mean I can’t say sh-t about it, regardless of the money I make, because I want my job to be fulfilling.

    Not only Hugo Weaving wasn’t disrespectful but he’s a tremendous actor so I gladly give him a pass.

    Your films are no Hitchcock nor Kubrick nor even your mate Spielberg, no substance it’s just a bunch of robots fighting you dumbass now sit your ass down. You should be happy that the likes of Hugo Weaving attached their names to your robotic brand.

    Every criticism towards him and Michael Bay reacts just like his films : explode!

    • I Choose Me says:

      Yup Team Weaving. His statement rambled a bit but I got what he was saying. He regrets not the work but that he can’t connect to it in anyway (as he says he doesn’t really understand who or what the character Megatron is about)which is something that he doesn’t usually do. Maybe I’m reaching here but it also felt to me like he felt bad about it – getting paid for essentially two hours of work about which he has no feeling. Hence the meaningless comment.

  7. LAK says:

    I love Hugo Weaving’s voice. I struggle to place his face even as i watch his films but as soon as i hear that voice…….

    It will live forever.

  8. Saphana says:

    they both have good points.

    i dont like Bay and think Weaving is a good actor but im also annoyed by actors complaining about their job. yes im sure it can be bad but you know you are here to entertain us and not bitch about a job you choose and with which you make incredible amounts of money. if it sucks so hard you can quit it and still live a luxury life.

  9. Micki says:

    Bay pitches a hissy fit as if Hugo sh*ts on the Citizen Kane.

  10. Naye in VA says:

    You know what, almost everybody complains about their job at some point. I’m not really peeved when actors do.

    • carrie says:

      Hugo is paid $250 000 for 2 hours of job!!! it’s a very great paycheck for 2 hours

      • Naye in VA says:

        That’s true but it also matters in life that you enjoy what you do. Let’s say that Hugo’s one marketable talent is acting. Just like my current marketable talent is typing, its just what I do. I get decent pay ( I can eat at least), and benefits, alright hours, but maybe I’d like to type for GreenPeace or something meaningful instead of a media corp. Just saying. If he complained about the money then it’d be a different story.

  11. hoopjumper says:

    Bay totally misinterpreted Weaving’s comments. Weaving is saying is that he regrets his disengagement with the project. He never met Bay, he never went on set, he never read the whole script, etc. He phoned it in and he regrets it because it was meaningless. I’m sure for a pro like Weaving, not even knowing what your lines really mean seems like a professional low, regardless of the context.

    BUT, he also went out of his way to say, “I don’t regret doing it”. Not that Bay would notice that subtle detail.

  12. Ann says:

    I’m amazed that Bay took time off from sexually harassing young actresses and making shitty movies to throw a tantrum. Then again, I’m not.

  13. L says:

    First off, I will always love Weaving for Pricilla Queen of the Desert. Awesome stuff.

    No where was Hugo Weaving complaining. What he said was that he regrets the weirdness that comes from going into a studio for 2 hours and never meeting the director or being on set. That’s a normal decent conversation.

    Michael Bay is a tool, and if he thinks he can walk all over Hugo Weaving like he did with Megan Fox-he’s got another thing coming. Hugo Weaving might ‘just’ be a character actor in some people’s eyes, but between his connections with the Matrix, LOTR, and a good chunk of the of australia acting community-Bay doesn’t want to go there.

  14. Toot says:

    I always remember Hugo from Priscilla Queen of the Desert with Guy Pierce.

    What he said wasn’t a slam, just a statement about his experience. Bay is just sensitive.

  15. aang says:

    Hugo will always be Mitzi Del Bra to me.

  16. Esmom says:

    To me Hugo looks like a cross between Sting and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

    I feel bad that his comments got so blown out of proportion, I thought what he said was perfectly respectful to Bay and only reflected his feeling guilty for not immersing himself more in the project. He was not a “grumbling thespian” in the least. In fact he showed how much his work means to him.

  17. Blue says:

    I think Bay or more likely someone close to him told him that he looked like an ass and took Hugo’s statement wrong, why else would he delete the letter?

  18. Wif says:

    Bay is an a-hole. He says, “whatever happened to integrity?” That’s exactly what Weaving is talking about. He essentially said that he accepted a paycheck, and wasn’t proud of it because it is not the way he normally works (researched and considered.)

    Bay seems to think simply taking big money as the ultimate form of morality.

  19. Deev says:

    Hugo Weaving’s comments absolutely did NOT come off as complaining! Michael Bay is such a douchenozzle.

  20. N-Bear says:

    Reading Weaving’s quote, it almost sounded like a man apologizing to his wife for having an affair…

  21. Akula says:

    Michael Bay needs to STFU. Also agree with people on here who said Hugo Weaving wasn’t complaining.

  22. Ming says:

    Wii-u-wii-u-wii-u, the Michael Bay social justice police has arrived.

    Maybe I can’t read at bloody all, but it sounded like Michael Bay wanted to tell us, that elephants are important and Hugo Weaving doesn’t give a damn.

    Elrond is benath Dumbo, another day ruined by Michael Bay.

  23. Madpoe says:

    Dear Potiental Actors/Actress
    who may work for Michael Bay:

    Just STFU!
    Cash your paycheck.
    Let Bay make things go BOOM!

    Wheither its the talent complaining about the director or vice versa –

    Thanks and enjoy the free cookies!

  24. videli says:

    I can’t escape the feeling that Michael Bay behave like a McDonald’s manager who tells his subordinates to be happy for having a job. I know that it’s not the right image for the overpaid actors, but Bay feels exactly like a pompous, overbearing, butt-slapping McDonald’s manager.

  25. Jaded says:

    Michael Bay must have sprinkled too much Bolivian marching powder on his Shreddies that morning. He needs to calm down, stop doing drugs, stop treating women like his own personal harem, stop sh*tting on talented actors and grow the f&ck up. What a tool.

  26. mytbean says:


    For one thing, Hugo’s response does not sound like *regret* – it just sounded like he was explaining why the job was strange and awkard to him compared to other projects he’s worked with. With limited to no prep time to do the work and with no real premise to pull from personally he felt as though he stumbled through it and had no idea what the outcome should/would be.

    As for Bay – he’s just being antagonistic and whining for attention – as usual.

  27. J says:

    Anyone who was in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert gets a free pass from me forever for anything.

  28. Havik says:

    This is one of those special instances where I have yet to read all the comments before I comment, but it’s Hugo Weaving we’re talking about here ;)

    There was nothing wrong with what Hugo said, I took it as it wasn’t a project he was very connected to, (as in, involved with. Like he never really got connected to his character or the film at all), which he regrets a bit. Nothing wrong with that.

    Michael Bay is one of those people who can’t take the slightest bit of criticism aimed in his general direction. He should be lucky he got someone with Hugo’s talent on the project at all!

    Bay is despicable and I can’t bloody stand him. He has a point about actors making serious cash for very little work, but those comments make no sense in response to Weaving.

  29. Feebee says:

    Bay might have a point if Weaving actually bitched about the job. I didn’t read it as so. Plus Bay’s massive overreaction makes him look (again) like a tool that no-one will pay attention to.

    Everybody’s allowed to complain about their jobs occasionally. It’s not his fault so many don’t have one. He has a skill and I guess a brand that he’s entitled to be paid market rate for.

    • amurph says:

      Agreed – nowhere did Weaving bitch about the money or having to do the job. He was remarking on how it was the first project he had ever done where he wasn’t that connected (wanted it, emotional invested, etc.) to it. From my understanding, it was either Bay’s people or the studio that pushed to have Weaving take over the voice for Megatron. Bay’s acting all pissy as if he did Weaving a favor and how dare he say anything about the films, even if it was an actual comment on the awkwardness. I doubt Weaving even knew what Megatron was but he took the job because they really wanted him to do it.

  30. S says:

    I love Hugo. But Bay is right. You get 200,000 for 2 hours work and then complain? Be grateful and leave all complains to yourself.

    And I had no idea that Hugo was doing that voice work. And it was the same situation (on another site) with Paul Bettany complaining the same about his voice in Iron Man. He did voice work for that computer of Tony Stark. I also had no idea Paul was in it.

    They should call out Paul too. I was shocked when I read his words. At first – you were paid for easy job. And second – it is disrespectful for FANS of those movies. Now every time I will watch Iron Man and voice of that computer will come and talk to Tony I will think about Paul Bettany and how it was such a stupid and meaningless job for him. You don’t talk about your movies like that. It’s disrespectful to everybody who was making it and watching.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      What did Paul Bettany say? Although in his defense at least he’s only done a low end popcorn movie once. Hugo Weaving was in Captain America as well. That is two bad comic book movies. Not to mention that Agent Smith playing vs. Keanu is not exactly high art either.

      It’s not like he was duped into making a Michael Bay film. That would be bad.

  31. uncle Frank says:

    I think HW was saying that he usually spends a lot of time researching a role etc and that this job was weird for him as it was a straight in and out thing which paid an unbelievable bunch of money.
    Mr Bay has totally grasped the wrong end of the stick.
    No way was HW dissing the movie or the fans or whatever.

  32. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    While Michael Bay is Satan’s overly-loquacious cabana boy, I think Hugo Weaving admitted to something pretty disingenuous because he has critical respect and it’s in vogue (and completely right) to hate Bay. It almost seems like a security blanket answer to the question, ‘Why in the world would you take any part in a Michael Bay film, seeing as how he’s Satan’s cabana boy, and do you have any future plans to sell out?’ Very shrewd of him to take the self-deprecating route, I think.

    It’s not the greatest PR for an actor to be perceived as condescending to his director, especially should any condemnations come years after the professional and financial benefits have been reaped because it comes off as self-important or out of touch. It’s also perceived as being scornful of an audience that solidifies a star status because they took to a film that is ‘beneath’ the actor’s dignity.

  33. A Fan says:

    Michael Bay seems incredibly sensitive to criticism (or what he perceives as criticism).

  34. lisa2 says:

    I don’t give a crap about any of this. But I do see both sides.

    Now to the important stuff..

    ALL I want to know is who do you call to start a career in voice over work. I’m available and I don’t care if it is meaningful work.


  35. ZenB!tch says:

    Honestly, I’m shocked because it came off to me as very similar to the 47% comment and like Michael *cough* Bay was defending the 47%.

    THAT is why I’m offended. So many people are near homeless and some two-bit actor is bitching about making over $100K an hour. SHUT IT PLEASE!

  36. ZenB!tch says:

    Where is Michael Bay’s blog? I want to call him on not having the balls to stand by his statement.

  37. ZenB!tch says:

    Apologies to Kaiser for not reading all the links… I was wrong. Hugo Weaving does know that the red Nazi thing in Captain America was as bad a Megatron (for an ‘artiste’ of his caliber). He is not “keen” to return to that either.

    I found Bay’s blog (forum) and called him on deleting the post. It’s not like there is a point in deleting anything on the internet. One cannot delete, only amend. Oh I should have said that – is amend too long a word for Michael Bay?