It’s hard to look at Hugo Weaving and not think of his most famous role: Agent Smith in The Matrix.
I can still remember chuckling a little when I saw him as Elrond in Lord of the Rings, because again, you immediately think of The Matrix. Now I’m wondering if that’s going to happen in Cloud Atlas, where apparently he’s playing a woman.
Well, he doesn’t exclusively play a woman. If you’ve been following Cloud Atlas, which hits theaters on October 26, the cast plays a number of different characters throughout the movie’s timeline, and Weaving plays multiple people, including Nurse Noakes, who apparently draws a few analogies to the infamous Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
In an interview with Vulture, Weaving was told the Nurse Noakes character went over big with audiences, and he had to wear “a massive fat suit…stocking and high heels, skirt. Then of course all the prosthetics – neck and cheeks and face and chin…That was the most difficult character to deal with physically.” And it took four hours to get into all that every day.
With everyone having to play a number of different parts, Weaving said, “I love that sense of play because as a viewer of the film you’re constantly reminded that these are actors playing roles, because you’re constantly seeing them as someone else.”
Weaving also acknowledged that the many genres that Cloud Atlas also incorporates “makes it a hard movie to accept and to watch, because it’s out of [the audience’s] experience… What I think is great about it is that it’s actually quite revolutionary in its structure. It manages to incorporate all these elements amazingly well, but I think for some people it will be too much.”
It’s also no surprise that early audiences who have seen Cloud Atlas are polarized on the film. Some have called it a mess, while on the other hand, it got a ten-minute standing ovation at the Toronto Film Festival. It’s clearly not an easy movie to take in, but it’s great that a big science fiction flick like this is willing to take some serious risks.
The movie may may be a lot to take in at nearly three hours, yet it may ultimately gain a big following on home video, where you can split it up into sections, and try to digest it all on your own time. The trailer certainly looks fantastic, and even if you get overstuffed, Cloud Atlas could indeed be a very rewarding meal.