Hugo Weaving: 'Transformers' was 'meaningless'
October 19th, 2012
09:34 AM ET

Hugo Weaving: 'Transformers' was 'meaningless'

Hugo Weaving, best known for his roles in "The Matrix," "Lord of the Rings" and "Captain America: The First Avenger," was asked about his work voicing "Transformers' " top baddie Megatron on the big screen.

Let's just say it wasn't his favorite role.

The actor told

"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. They wanted me to do it. In one way, I regret that bit. I don’t regret doing it, but I very rarely do something if it’s meaningless. It was meaningless to me, honestly. I don’t mean that in any nasty way. I did it. It was a two-hour voice job, while I was doing other things."

Weaving is only the latest "Transformers" actor to criticize the film series over the years, after original stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.

"Of course, it’s a massive film that’s made masses of money," Weaving continued.

"I just happened to be the voice of one of the iconic villainous characters. But, my link to that and to ['Transformers' director] Michael Bay is so minimal. I have never met him. 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. I never read the script. I just have my lines, and I don’t know what they mean. That sounds absolutely pathetic!"

Bay, who's never shied away from speaking his mind, replied on his website, without naming names.

"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?" he asked, in comments picked up by New York Magazine's Vulture.

"What happened to people who had integrity, who did a job, got paid for their hard work, and just smiled afterward? Be happy you even have a job — let alone a job that pays you more than 98 percent of the people in America."

Bay - who said he would match funds for a wildlife charity to any actor who wanted to donate their pay - later deleted the statement from his website.

We're going to guess that Weaving won't be taking part in "Transformers 4." The good news is the original Megatron actor might very well be available.

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soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. The Tanned One...he has too know what we did was all about jodie--he cannot be that insecure at this point...


    July 9, 2013 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Who Cares

    the focus is the movie not the sad production scripts

    July 9, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dudley Broglio

    Megatron is the founder of the Decepticon uprising and their most feared leader. Bob Budiansky, the writer for the Marvel Comics series, stated that originally Hasbro took issue with the name, saying it sounded too frightening. Budiansky responded that as the lead villain, that was the point. Hasbro later agreed with his reasoning, and approved the name "Megatron".";::

    Catch ya later <

    July 9, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Butch

    Looks like Elrond isnt that immortal after all. Good grief.

    November 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Michael

    Bay is such a jerk. Weaving never said he didn't appreciate the money or whatever, he was just saying that the role meant nothing to him. Just because he worked on the film doesn't mean he isn't allowed to have an opinion about it. If he'd said the movie was the greatest thing since sliced bread, Bay would be asking him to elaborate... either way it's just sharing an opinion, but Bay's getting whiny because it's one that he doesn't want to hear. Hey Bay, if you don't want people attacking your movies, either stop making them or stop being such a hack. These movies are basically on the level of Schumacher's Batman and Robin... 2 hour toy commercials that are all style and no substance!

    November 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TF Claymore

    Bay should never have used this jackbird. Fans begged, pleaded and campaigned for Welker to rejoin Peter Cullen. It was a major insult when they selected this moron.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colleen

      TF Claymore - Exactly. The fans didn't want Weaving, and if he wants to act like that, he'll be meaningless to the fans as well. Michael Bay or someone in charge thought Frank Welker sounded "too old." Well he sounds darn good on Transformers Prime. It's not the old Megatron voice, but it's a good Megatron voice.

      The voice actor I miss is Chris Latta. Rest in peace.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. clo

    I see where Hugo was coming from. BTW, Bay is terrible at his job and the movies sucked.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slicc

      I think Bay took Hugo's comments the wrong way. To me Hugo was sounding more ashamed of himself that he didn't research the role he was playing and he felt more as a disservice to the material and to the Transformers fans.

      That aside Michael Bay and his movies are the worst in Big Budget Hollywood. Bay should be a Director of an FX house/studio but not a director of a big budget film.

      November 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John W.

    Own your greed, Hugo. If you are so dismissive of the project, yet still took the paycheck, be a man; shut your mouth, cash your check, and own it.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Agreed. I am really shocked that he would complain about the role so publicly. He is lucky that he was even considered to be the voice of Megatron. I think he doesn't realize how much of an honor that is because he might not have grown up in America in The 80s, when Transformers was the show to watch for young adolescent boys.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. Rick

    ""I just happened to be the voice of one of the iconic villainous characters. "

    No, Frank Welker was that voice. You, Mr. Weaving, were not.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      In general, though the movies were a bit entertaining and bringing back Peter Cullen was awesome, truth be told, the cartoons had better scripts. On top of that, Shia and Megan are both pretty snobbish.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mike kelley

    I'm 31. I have a BA in English and American Literature, I'm currently enrolled in law school, and my favorite books include Moby Dick and Bill Bryson's Short History of Nearly Everything.
    Maybe it's because of these things, or maybe it's in spite of them, that I am comfortable enough with my own intellect to tell everyone that I saw the first two Transformer movies and thought they were AWESOME!

    October 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • John W.

      In spite of them. These movies are made to appeal only to the basest of emotions. I can't even believe I wasted this much time and energy responding.

      Just wanted to say what an ungrateful sell-out this Weaving DB is. He sold out and now is trying to dismiss his greed-motivated contribution to nothingness. Own it, Hugo.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Greg

    Compare this to the level of commitment Hugo Weaving had to playing the character Elrond in the LotRs films – for example, he hired someone to coach him on the correct pronunciation of Quenya. One place the effect of this can be heard is his pronunciation of the name "Isildur". That is clearly the effect of his training, as that "u" does not have any counterpart in spoken English. Its also worth noting that while overall I thought highly of Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Galadriel, it does sound like she mispronounces the name of Earendil (ie: only the person that saved your whole race from genocide).

    October 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. yeah yeah

    I don't blame Hugo for saying what he did, All the Transformers movies are a FLOP BECAUSE OF BAY

    ""What happened to people who had integrity" he has the AUDACITY to say this? yeah lets look at integrity for a piece of work that Micheal GAY was supposed to reproduce, not try to re-invent, Transformers was not something have been the finger foder of this dweeb director, if you do a job do it right not half assed you dueche, you Get Peter Cullen to voice Optimus Prime (which i'm still shocked you hired) but yet you don't get Frank Welker the original Megatron, Micheal GAY is a joke, and we're on to you for already destroying another classic........Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, re-writing their origin to be from Space????????????? So your going to have Teenage Alian Ninja Turtles??? Your an Idiot trying to put your own stamp on things Stop it and leave Nostalgic recreation to people that remember and respect our childhood memories for what they where....................................

    On that note I IMPLORE hollywood to hire Dr SMOOV for any Transformers movies, his parody's voice over are already better than anything BAY puts out, and his "TRANSFORMERS: Generation One by NGSMOOV" (youtube it) is already better than the crap done by BAY.

    October 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dirk

    The only thing Hugo said was he was paid for a job and knew nothing about the movie. Michael Bay then said actors want too much money sometimes. Was either slamming the other or expressing a general opinion of why a movie may cost so much? I didn't get the impression that Michael Bay was unhappy with Hugo or that Hugo was unhappy with Michael Bay – only that Hugo's involvement was his lines and that was it. How is this even an issue?

    October 27, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Wow..

      I agree. Must be a slow news day. The author pulled everything Hugo said out of context just for the sake of a snarky article that's clearly more suited to a gossip mag. This is "news", CNN?

      November 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mike

    Hugo is great (Loved V for Vendetta), but Bay is right. These actors make way too much money to go bad-mouthing the movies that paid them afterward. It never hurts to tell your employer once in a blue moon "Hey, thanks for the paycheck, man," and then just get on back to work earning it. Like the man said, be glad you have a job. Grief.

    October 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Meh

    Hugo won my respect from The Matrix. The whole "a virus" speech was brilliant. I do wish they had used the original guys voice however. They got the original guy to voice Prime (or someone who sounds very similar) and Megatron's voice was memorable.

    October 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Da Truth

    I'd take $200k for just having to yell "Prime!" in a gravely voice. But I am not Hugo Weaving, so I don't think my name in the credits would generate as much revenue. Bay ought to think about that when he complains about what he was paid.

    October 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Munchma Qoochi

    Wow, he only had to suffer 1 hour and 43 minutes for the movie, unlike us poor saps who sat and watched the thing.

    October 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Chris

    Umm, why should he shut up? Freedom of Speech seems appropriate. It's not like the movies were any good.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
  19. Dan

    This is apparently just how you are supposed to treat Transformers. This is what Orson Wells had to say about his turn voicing Unicron, his final movie role. "I play a planet. I menace somebody called Something-or-other. Then I'm destroyed. My plan to destroy Whoever-it-is is thwarted and I tear myself apart on the screen."

    October 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  20. The Mom Show

    I can understand both sides of this argument; however, it is essentially two overpaid multimillionaires arguing over a venture which only added to their vast fortunes. I wake up at 4:45 a.m. up each work day to give 8.5 hours of my life to a job which is also essentially "meaningless." This job allows my family to have the basic necessities and a little extra. I am grateful for all I have. Perhaps Mr. Weaving could use a lesson in humility. He is paid quite well to spend his life doing something he loves.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      I think you and Bay are both being a tad precious. Hugo Weaving wasn't trying to attack people working in jobs that don't have meaning for them, nor was he attacking Bay or anyone else in Transformers.
      Did anyone actually read what he said FFS? All that happened was that he was ASKED about Transformers and he truthfully recounted that it was a job that was pushed on him, but that had no meaning for him. Sure, the vast majority of us work jobs that don't have a tonne of meaning for us, but that doesn't mean he can't give his opinion when he finds something uninspired... sounds like he did it as a favour

      October 22, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
    • BD

      Reading comprehension for the win.

      Weaving specifically stated that he was grateful for the work and went out of his way to make the point that he is offended when people complain about a job that earns them the sort of money VOs/acting does.....

      October 22, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Hugo was still coming off as condescending about the part he played in this. I think that’s were Bay is a little upset. Hell, offer me the job of his voice, for 200K you won’t hear me complain one bit.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • WarMachine99

      That's why you as an actor should read the script before accepting the position.

      I can fully understand both sides of the story. Weaving is simply out of it by criticizing the movie, even after lining his coffers with mucho moolah. Bay is bitter that he spent mucho moolah on this guy only to hear him say the truth afterwards, when he could've hired someone else with less experience and money that could've been more appreciative of the opportunity.

      I've seen snippets of the movies here and there on Cable. They are truly inconsequential, despite what box office figures say.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  21. Frank Mondana

    It didn't sound like complaining to me. It sounds more like somebody else was making this giant deal out of his doing such an "Iconic" character and he was simply replying that it wasn't such a huge deal to him. If it was only 2 hours then he probably doesn't even remember most of it. He never had to learn lines, never got into a costume or any of the other things an actor usually goes through for a role therefore it isn't something he wonders or thinks about at all.
    He didn't dis anybody, he didn't say the film was stupid and he didn't even do press for the flick. He just described his tiny involvement in this huge film.

    However, maybe if more people started complaining about Bay's films and stopped seeing them we'd all be better off.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Fez Head Phred

    Good grief. Sorry Hugo that Transformers isn't Shakespeare, and sorry you had to debase your talent for the part. But then again. . . you are an actor. You get paid to do these things. You took a HUGE check, so do the job and shut up about it! Or if it is beneath your extraordinary talent and skill, give it to another actor. The vanity of these actors is staggering!

    October 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  23. Take a Crap

    0n a Hacker

    October 20, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  24. Rico

    Not to downplay Weaving's talent, but as far as Michael Bay saying he is tired of complaints from actors for doing work and voice overs for the big bucks, why not hire someone unknown. They surely will do as well as most well known actors. And they will NOT be complaining with a fraction of the money they pay to the big stars.

    October 20, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  25. hey

    Michael Bay is a horrible director and makes horrible movies. You'll have to forgive Hugo, he at least has some artistic honesty.

    October 19, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  26. All the movies


    October 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Agent Elron

    Bay should concentrate on prepping for the @$$packing he's going to get from the public/internet once he pinches out this new Ninja Turtles turd.

    October 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Pliny

    Hey Mikey Bey. Weaving wasn't 'complaining about his job'.

    He was complaining about being associated with one of your crappy movies.

    Face it and your movies are a joke.

    October 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buzz Lightyear

      So Weaving didn't have a script in front of him? He couldn't have said no to working on a horrible script? He still took the paycheck and then bit the hand that keeps him living in luxury. If he is so ashamed of the script, let him give the money away in order to disassociate himself with the movie. No, he won't part with the cash? Didn't think so!

      October 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • yeah yeah

      buzz light year must be a micheal gay fan lol

      October 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Chris

    Wow Mr. Bay, overreact much? Perhaps you're just a bit too sensitive about the crap you 'direct' these days.

    October 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Michael Calaizzo

    Weaver is a piece of Excrement.

    October 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Cutealien

    I don't really see this as him complaining about the work. He just explained that he really didn't care for the role, he just did it for something to do and because people wanted him to do it. I think the director is over-reacting calling it complaining. And nothing he said could really be honestly used as a reflection of the movie. He was very removed from the whole thing, end of story.

    October 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  32. derp

    Don't you ever get sick directors who make crappy action sequels of TV cartoons and whine about the actors that admit that it was just a paycheck.

    What happened to directors who had original ideas and could make decent movies without having to rip off 20 year old television cartoons and resort to constantly blowing things up on screen.

    Bay is a hack.

    A rich bitter hack.

    October 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  33. MarcS

    Well, the movies were mediocre. Also, this is not surprising for an actor that only has a voice role in a movie with live action roles. It's different for total animated movies since everyone is there.

    October 19, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  34. GeeBee

    I don't see Weaving "complaining about his job" as Bay said. He said that the movie was meaningless to him. And it should be meaningless for pretty much anybody, shouldn't it have? It was garbage.

    October 19, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  35. snewsom2997

    It is an explody movie it isn't supposed to be meaningful, it is giant robots blowing stuff up. I like Weaving as an actor, I like the Transformers movies too, for what they are, a couple hours of giant robots and explosions, if I wanted a story, I would read a book.

    October 19, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  36. Strike a pose there is nothing to it


    October 19, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  37. Karen Cooper

    Thank you for being honest. Wish you maybe had read the stories and saved 2 and 3 from some stupid parts. M. Bay wrecked my fond memories of Transformers. The trailers were awful for the first and if tons of Marines hadn't had talked it up I never would have seen it in the theater. First one was good loved the many people and characters and respect for the giant ancient living robots. The next two wee bad treating them like pets that followed them home.... And then no M Fox so stupid. Even straight chicks think she is hot. Woman want to exude that and take notice. Oh and usually I like a real world crossover I. E. Keith Richards in Pirates after Johnny admits he used him as template. But Nimoy's line was bad in the third one! P.s. Hugo has hit to hold the record for most movies that have sequels!

    October 19, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • yeah yeah

      Transformers didn't need Meagan "monkey thumbs" Fox or Shia LaDueche in it, if anything their roles could have been reduced, Transformers is not about two insignificant humans especially on some wanna be love thing quest.

      October 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |

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