Award-winning actor Hugo Weaving seems to have been
absent from the big screen since the hit comedy The Adventures of
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. But Weaving is back on the road
with True Love and Chaos. He talks to Paul Fischer.
Revolving around a group of disparate characters' journey
from Melbourne to Perth, hotly pursued by a New Age drug dealer,
Weaving plays a burnt out singer who embarks on an unusual
journey of self-discovery. Not only does Hugo act in this movie,
but also he belts out a song or two. "I had a great time
doing that. It was a lot of fun." Weaving does his own
singing in the movie, so one of course wonders why we haven't
heard him sing before. "I've never been asked, really."
Director Efthymiou wrote this film with Hugo in mind, who first
worked with the director on the short film Road to Alice.
"In many ways this is a feature version of that film - the
film he DIDN'T get to make when he was at film school. And in
that earlier film, I also played a muso who was similar to this
guy, and I sang in that one as well."
To play this quintessential loser, Weaving was able to get
into the character, initially, simply by growing a beard which
identifies his on-screen character as this ultra cynical has-
been. "I just became a beard, and I thought of Jim Morrison
and the kind of beard HE had, so it ultimately became this mask
for me. I felt like a completely different being, with the extra
long hair and beard."
Weaving also adds that Morris was an appealing character for him
to play "because he was someone who'd kind of been through
so much, destroyed himself in so many ways but still had a sense
of humour about his life. He was a complete bullshit artist,
really, and an enjoyable person to sink one's teeth into."
It's a dramatic departure from the two-hander he's shooting at
present, The Interview. "It's a great script and
fascinating. It's also shot and lit in a way never seen before in
an Australian movie. I play this very ordinary bloke who is
brutally taken away in the middle of the night by the cops and is
the subject of an interrogation. At first you think he's somehow
being set up, until the interrogation develops, and things aren't
quite what they seem."
Following the huge international success of Priscilla, Weaving
may well have sought a career outside of Australia but that
holds no interest for him. "I find I can work steadily here, doing
at least one film and play a year." But the actor will fly
to London later this year for his first non-Australian film,
Bedrooms and Hallways, for director Rose Troche.