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Hugo Weaving talks the Wachowskis’ “Cloud Atlas” and working on “Jupiter Ascending”


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Ever since the Wachowskis burst onto the Hollywood scene with 1999’s “The Matrix,” Hugo Weaving has been forever connected with the forward-thinking sci-fi siblings. The trio worked together on the Wachowskis’ upcoming “Cloud Atlas” (which was also co-directed by Tom Tywker), making it their fifth film collaboration including “V for Vendetta.” This movie promises to be their craziest project together yet.

“Cloud Atlas” looks to be as unique a project as “The Matrix” was, combining six separate storylines and having the movie’s various big name stars play different roles in each one. Each of the storylines takes place in its own timeline, its own geography and with its own plotline, and similarly the various characters are different sexes, races and ages and all have different personal interests. One of Weaving’s characters is “a type of woman” who is a nurse. But he promised that each of his characters is thematically linked to the others.

“All six of them have a similar sort of tone, I suppose. Most of them seem to be, in some way, [obsessed] with self-control or repression or status quo or power, and so there’s a link with all those characters,” he told IFC while promoting his upcoming movie “Last Ride.” “Initially, at the beginning of the shoot, jumping from one character to another, you felt the difference between the characters. As the shoot wore on, increasingly you’re seeing an arc for those six characters, like a six-faced character if you like.”

Even though the movie comes out in a little under four months, we have yet to see a trailer for it. With the exception of a few stills and some concept art, we really don’t have any idea how the film will look at all. And fans of the book shouldn’t think they have any better idea than the rest of us. “Cloud Atlas” is based on the David Mitchell novel of the same name, but Weaving said that the movie will work in a different way.

“The story’s told like a mosaic. In the book, you’re getting half of each story and then the second half of each story, and the film’s not told in that way, so the certain characters you play towards the pointy end of the film start to fulfill the same function. That was a really fascinating adventure for everyone working on that,” he said. “And as the film progresses and the script progresses, you get a sense of those actors and those characters coming together and fulfilling a similar function or a similar role if you like in the story.”

Weaving will finally see the fully cut film during a screening next month, and for now he said he’s “just as intrigued as anyone, really.” He said all the actors were more excited and “discombobulated” than he’d ever seen people be while preparing for a movie he’s worked on, and is excited to see how everything fits together in the finished product. He promised that some of the cast of the movie — which includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Jim Sturgess and Jim Broadbent — were nearly unrecognizable as some of their characters.

“I remember there was one day with Tom Hanks, we were working on a shoot in Saxony, we were working in an amazing forest, and it was my first day on set with Tom,” Weaving recalled. “We were having a chat and we’d been working for about three hours and he suddenly realized that one of the other characters in the scene he’d been working with in New York for two weeks prior to that, and he didn’t recognize him. It was really different make-up. That’s what it was like.”

Considering the great relationship Weaving has with the Wachowskis, it’s not much of a stretch to assume that he might have a role to play in their next project, the sci-fi flick “Jupiter Ascending.” That movie currently only has Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis cast, but Weaving teased there might be a role for him too.

“We haven’t actually talked about that one but there’ve been sort of muted hints and things about it, to be honest, so I’m not sure what’s happening with that,” he said. “I last talked to [the Wachowskis] while we were doing ADR for ‘Cloud Atlas,’ so it’s just lovely to have a chat again, but I’m hoping to see them in a month and a half and there’ll be a screening of ‘Cloud Atlas’ in Chicago, and I’m hoping to get over to that.”

So keep an eye out, Wachowski fans, because we might end up hearing some new casting news in a month and a half.

Are you looking forward to “Cloud Atlas”? Would you like to see Hugo Weaving in “Jupiter Ascending”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.