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Hugo Weaving      

Actor Known for "The Matrix" Trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings" Films & "Cloud Atlas"; Epilepsy Survivor & Awareness Advocate

Hugo Weaving is an Australian actor known for playing Agent Smith in The Matrix film trilogy and Elrond in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Often cast as a villain, Weaving has had starring roles in Transformers, Captain America, and Cloud Atlas.

During his childhood, his family lived in England, Australia, and South Africa, but eventually settled in England, where Weaving attended boarding school in Bristol. Almost fresh out of school, Weaving gained attention with his performance in The City's Edge, a low-budget film said to be the first to realistically portray the living conditions of aborigines. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he appeared in a number of Australian productions, including the 1989 film Bangkok Hilton, in which he appeared opposite Nicole Kidman. Two years later, he won the Best Actor award from the Australian Film Institute for his performance in Proof, a black comedy about a blind photographer, which also featured his countryman Russell Crowe.

Not one to be pigeonholed, Weaving appeared in drag in the 1994 film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and lent his signature baritone voice as the narrator in Babe. One of his most widely known roles came as Agent Smith in the 1999 sci-fi blockbuster The Matrix. Later, audiences worldwide would find his lean frame and arched eyebrows a natural fit in his role as the half-elf Elrond in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films.

In 2005, Weaving won the lead role in V for Vendetta, starring opposite Natalie Portman. In that role, Weaving wore a mask for the entire performance. His work as the main villain in Transformers and Captain America seemed to cement his place in Hollywood, but the Australian has always had an aversion to high-profile stardom.

2012 saw Weaving in Cloud Atlas and The Hobbit. In 2016, he played Tom Doss in Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge. That film focuses on the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, an American pacifist combat medic who, as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refused to carry or use a weapon or firearm of any kind. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for service above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Okinawa.

Weaving lives in Sydney, Australia, and he owns a dairy farm three hours north of the city, which he purchased with proceeds from The Matrix. He was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 13 and has consequently never gotten a driver's license. He is an advocate for epilepsy awareness and has appeared in TV spots raising awareness about the condition.


An Interview with Hugo Weaving
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