Hugo Wallace Weaving was born on 4th April 1960 in Nigeria to English parents Anne and Wallace Weaving. As a result of his father’s job, Weaving spent his childhood travelling between South Africa, England and Australia. Whilst in England Weaving attended the Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School in Bristol, it was there that Weaving excelled in history and theater. In 1976, when Weaving was sixteen, he and his family settled in Sydney Australia. Weaving continued his education at Sydney’s Knox Grammar School. His love of acting continued to grow and he graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1981
Beginning of Acting Career
After Weaving graduated he spent time working with the Sydney Theatre Company. His first feature role was in the low-budget yet bold film “The City’s Edge”, this film was one of the first Australian films to highlight the plight of Australia native Aborigines. Weaving also appeared in a few television series such as the Dirtwater Dynasty and later stared opposite Nicole Kidman in the film Bangkok Hilton.
Rise to Fame
Weaving’s performance as a blind photographer in the film ‘Proof’ earned him praise from critics. He received the best actor award from the Australian Film Institute in 1991 for his role in proof. Weaving gained a higher international profile for his role in the surprise cult hit ‘The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ in which he portrayed a drag queen. The following year Weaving voiced the character of Rex the sheepdog in the family film Babe. Weaving then took on a role in the film ‘The Interview’ which he would later describe as his ‘most fulfilling role from an acting point of view’. His performance in the interview earned him the ‘best actor’ award at the Montreal Film Festival and the Australian Film Institute in 1998. That year Weaving was also won Australian Star of the Year.
Weaving gained international mainstream fame for his role as Agent Smith in the Wachowski brothers 1999 hit The Matrix, he would later reprise this role in the sequels; ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ and ‘The Matrix Revolutions’. His profile increased even more when he starred in the hugely successful Lord of The Rings Series (2002 – 2003), as Elrond the leader of the elves. Weaving reunited with the Wachowski brothers when he played the leading role in the film V for Vendetta about a vigilante and a young woman who try to overthrow an oppressive government. Even with his mainstream success, Weaving has continued to do theatre work with the Sydney Theatre Company, and has previously stated that it is on stage where he feels at home. He has also continued to do small budget and independent films such as ‘Little Fish’ in which he starred opposite Cate Blanchett. Weaving will soon be reprising his role as Elrond in Peter Jackson’s the Hobbit.
Hugo Weaving is one of three siblings; he has an older brother named Simon and a younger sister named Anna. Weaving has been with his long term partner Katrina Greenwood since 1984, they reside in Australia with their two children, Harry born in 1989 and Holly born in 1993.
With a career spanning over three decades, Weaving has had one of the most enigmatic and diverse acting careers.