Hugo Weaving said recently he had never met Michael Bay, and did not know much about him, so the star of the Matrix and The Lord of the Rings may have been in for a surprise if he Googled his name this morning. The Transformers director does not take kindly to criticism and took to his blog on Wednesday evening to lambast Weaving as a “whiner” after the latter said his voice work on the blockbuster trilogy was “meaningless” because he had no idea what his lines meant.
In remarks he later deleted – but not before several sites had captured a screenshot – Bay implied that the English-Australian ought to have taken the money and kept his mouth shut after voicing lead villain Megatron in all three Transformers films without, apparently, bothering to read the script in advance. “Do you ever get sick of actors that make m a picture, or even for voiceover work that took a brisk one hour and 43 minutes to complete, and then complain about their jobs?” asked the director. “With all the problems facing our world today, do these grumbling thespians really think people reading the news actually care about trivial complaints that their job isn’t ‘artistic enough’ or ‘fulfilling enough’?
“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% of people in America.”
In a somewhat unwieldy shift, Bay then promised to make a donation to a charity which rescues elephants if Weaving paid his fee to the same organisation. “I have a wonderful idea for all those whiners,” wrote the director. “They can give their ‘unhappy job money’ to a wonderful elephant rescue. It’s the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Africa. I will match the funds they donate.”
Weaving joined a long line of actors who have bemoaned their experiences working on Transformers – others include Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox – when he made his fateful comments. “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,” he told the Collider blog. “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.
“My link to that and to Michael Bay is so minimal,” Weaving continued. “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! I’ve never done anything like that in my life. It’s hard to say any more about it than that, really.”
Fox was fired from the most recent Transformers film, 2011′s Dark of the Moon, after comparing the director to Hitler. Bay’s typically robust response was to replace her with an underwear model, Britain’s Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and issue a withering tirade. “Well, that’s Megan Fox for you,” he said. “She says some very ridiculous things because she’s 23 years old and she still has a lot of growing to do. You roll your eyes when you see statements like that and think, ‘OK Megan, you can do whatever you want. I got it.’
“Nick Cage wasn’t a big actor when I cast him, nor was Ben Affleck before I put him in Armageddon. Shia LaBeouf wasn’t a big movie star before he did Transformers – and then he exploded. Nobody in the world knew about Megan Fox until I found her and put her in Transformers.”
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