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Hugo Weaving's been busy recently doing interviews for Cloud Atlas, but of course, it's hard for an actor who's appeared in so many popular franchises not to wind up talking about one of those roles as well. And though you probably remember him best as Agent Smith in The Matrix, Elrond in The Lord of the Rings or Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, he also lent his voice to Megatron in the Transformers films-- and that's the role that's now got him in trouble with one of his previous directors.
After Weaving called his work as Megatron "meaningless," pointing out to Collider that he never met Michael Bay and that he never read the script, Bay struck back in his inimitable, vaguely childish way. On his own website Bay doesn't actually name Weaving-- and for some reason cites The Hollywood Reporter in this fracas-- but it's pretty clear who he's talking about. You can read his mini-rant below:
Do you ever get sick of actors that make $15 million a picture, or even $200,000 for voiceover work that took a brisk one hour and 43 minutes to complete, and then complain about their jobs? With all the problems facing our world today, do these grumbling thespians really think people reading the news actually care about trivial complaints that their job wasn’t “artistic enough” or “fulfilling enough”? I guess The Hollywood Reporter thinks so.
On some level, sure, Michael Bay is right-- actors have pretty cushy jobs, and any complaining they do ought to be taken with a massive grain of salt and recognition that they're doing OK. But that's not really what Weaving was doing here. He was stating some basic facts about a voiceover job that didn't challenge him that much and wasn't that meaningful-- and realizing he never met the director, you can't really blame him for feeling that way. Weaving isn't saying he did a bad job, or that he's not grateful for the paycheck, or even that the movies are bad. He's just admitting he wasn't especially engaged with it. Have any of us really not felt that way about our jobs at some point?
Even though Hugo Weaving has been in some of the biggest movies of all time, he's still a working actor who needs to take jobs-- and I"m not going to begrudge him taking one gig in a huge movie that he didn't care about 100%. Michael Bay may be the "wronged" director in this situation, but it's pretty hard to imagine taking his side.