This Sunday night’s movie on M-Net, Mortal Engines, plunges you into a fantastical, post-apocalyptic world of mechanised cities. Hugo Weaving takes on a villainous role as Deputy Lord Mayor Thaddeus Valentine. If you’re familiar with Weaving’s career, you’ll know he’s more than up to the task of playing the bad guy, but he also has a softer side, a funny side, and an anarchic side. Give this guy a role and he’ll run with it. Let’s take a look at his top five roles, before joining the Nigerian-born English-Aussie actor for a fantasy rendezvous in Mortal Engines.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
Weaving glammed it up and hammed it up for his fabulous turn as drag queen Mitzi Del Bra in this Aussie road trip comedy classic. But underneath all the comedy and the camp is a tender, heartwarming road movie bolstered by stunning performances.
The Matrix Trilogy (1999 – 2003)
Cold, calculating, maniacal. This perfectly sums up Agent Smith, particularly every single time he says “Mr. Anderson”. In his relentless pursuit of Neo, Weaving pulls off what is now one of his most famous roles with chilling aplomb.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001 – 2003), The Hobbit Trilogy (2012, 2014)
You can escape the matrix after all! Because that’s just what Weaving did. In between shooting the Matrix trilogy in Australia, he hopped on over to New Zealand to pop on a pair of pointy ears and speak elvish in Peter Jackson’s magnificent Middle Earth-set trilogy. He lent gravitas to the wisdom of Elrond in all three films, reprising the character several years later for the first and last part of the Hobbit trilogy.
V for Vendetta (2005)
From enforcing conformity in the matrix to breaking free of convention, Weaving sought anarchy as the title character in this Orwellian slice of dystopian sci-fi. His face is obscured throughout his performance, but what he pulls off with his voice and body tells us everything we need to know about fairness, freedom, and justice.
Patrick Melrose (2018)
In this miniseries, Weaving delivers a chilling performance of a very different kind. He plays abusive father David Melrose in a performance that is cruel, tortured, and harrowing, yet disturbingly tender. Weaving finely balances the idiosyncrasies of his character, commanding the attention of both the characters that surround him as well as the audience.