Hugo Weaving is one of the most versatile actors working today, and one thing’s for certain: he sure makes a damn good villain. Having cemented himself in pop culture with such iconic roles as Agent Smith in “The Matrix” trilogy, Elrond in “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies, V in “V for Vendetta” and the Red Skull in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the 58-year old Australian actor continues to be at the forefront of fandoms everywhere. It also sure helps that he’s fortunate enough to have collaborated with some of the most visionary filmmakers of our time including Peter Jackson, the Wachowski’s and Mel Gibson.
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With this year’s “Mortal Engines,” Weaving not only find’s himself reuniting with Peter Jackson, who produced and co-wrote the script but find’s himself back in the pocket playing the film’s main antagonist, Thaddeus Valentine— though notably more likable and charming than some of his past villains.
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We spoke with Weaving about some of his favorite literary works, continued collaborations with Peter Jackson, the Wachowskis, a possible “John Wick”/Matrix reunion with David Leitch or Chad Stahelski—he worked with both of them on “The Matrix” movies and Leitch was Hugo Weaving’s stunt double in “V for Vendetta”— and whether he wants in on some future Bond villain action.
“Mortal Engines” centers on a futuristic, steampunk version of London, now a giant machine striving to survive on a world running out of resources. The story focuses on a mysterious young woman named Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) joins forces with a dangerous outlaw and an outcast from London, to lead a rebellion against a giant predator city on wheels. Weaving plays the aforementioned Valentine, an evil, powerful man, and Head of the Guild of Historians.
Directed by Christian Rivers, “Mortal Engines” is set to hit theaters on December 14. Stay tuned for interviews with Peter Jackson and “Mortal Engines” composer Junkie XL.