Actor Hugo Weaving has played some pretty high-profile baddies in his time. First rising to fame outside of Australia as the villainous Agent Smith in "The Matrix" trilogy, Weaving went on to play the antagonists in Michael Bay's three "Transformers" movies and in Joe Johnston's "Captain America." Sure, Weaving has played good guys in the intervening years -- like Elrond the elf in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (and the upcoming "Hobbit" movies) and the avenging V in "V for Vendetta" -- but it's the actor's turns as villains like the evil alien robot Megatron or Nazi with a skin condition Red Skull that have really defined his recent career.
The actor may have outdone himself with his latest film, though. Weaving plays about half a dozen characters -- most of them bad guys -- in the Wachowskis' century-spanning adventure "Cloud Atlas." While promoting the film, Weaving was asked by Collider about some of his famous past villain roles, including Megatron and the Red Skull, and the actor did not seem particularly keen on either one.Hugo Weaving voiced Megatron in the "Transformers" films. (Paramount Pictures)
Asked if Michael Bay had called him about reprising the role of Megatron in the in development fourth "Transformers" movie, Weaving said that he hadn't heard anything and described working on the first film as simply "a two-hour voice job" that he only took because he was busy doing a play.
"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," said Weaving, adding that he regretted his lack of investment in the project. "It was meaningless to me, honestly. I don't mean that in any nasty way."
Despite playing the metal heavy in three "Transformers" movies, Weaving also revealed that he's never even met explosion-loving director Michael Bay. "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."
Although he never left the recording studio on "Transformers," a movie that Weaving was definitely on set for was Marvel's "Captain America: The First Avenger." His memorable turn as the nefarious Nazi agent the Red Skull was one of the highlights of the film, but in the same interview, Weaving cautioned fans that despite signing on for multiple movies. they may not see him reprise the role in future Marvel films.Weaving as Red Skull in "Captain America." (Marvel Studios)
"It's not something I would want to do again," said Weaving. "I think I've done my dash with that sort of film. It was good to do it and try it out, but to be honest, it's not the sort of film I seek out and really am excited by."
Pulpy comic book adventure movies don't excite Weaving? The sound you're currently hearing is thousands of fan boys and girls weeping for the loss of a genre icon. But there may yet be hope, as Weaving pointed out his legal standing with Marvel.
"Contractually, I would be obliged to, if they forced me to, but they wouldn't want to force someone to do it, if they didn't want to," he said.
Whether that's simply gamesmanship on the actor's part to help drive up his Red Skull fee or he's actually just tired of playing cartoonish villains is still a little murky, but Weaving doesn't sound very enthusiastic. Maybe he's just dreading those intensive three-hour makeup sessions required to transform him into the Red Skull.
Weaving will next be seen as multiple villains in the Wachowskis' "Cloud Atlas" and as the wise and kind Elrond in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Will we see the actor play a villain after that? We'll have to wait and see.