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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, November 16, 2017 

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WEAVING, HUGO: SINGING HIS HEART OUT

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.

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"It was a lot of fun."

"I just became a beard, and I thought of Jim Morrison"

True Love and Chaos was released in Australia on May 22; The Interview will be out later this year.







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