Written by Film 2003 with Jonathan Ross
As Agent Smith he hunted Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix". Now Hugo Weaving spills the beans on where Smith goes next, fight scenes and group hugs.
Film 2003: What was it like getting back together with the rest of the Matrix team?
Hugo Weaving: The first day of training was "who was going to get there first" and "who was going to get there next", and it was pretty extraordinary getting together. Carrie-Anne, Keanu, Laurence and myself – we had a big group hug and all that nonsense!
How has your character moved on from the first film?
Smith has the ability to reproduce, so there’s more than one Smith, and that’s a major difference in the character. The other one is that he’s unplugged from the Matrix, so he’s liberated if you like, he’s a freer agent. He’s a little bit more fluid as a character, more human, sounds a little bit more human maybe, and more emotional, more determined than ever. I think he’s enjoying what he’s doing more, so there’s a lot of scope for fun. In fact we’ve been careful not to enjoy it too much because I always enjoy playing this character a lot and there’s been a couple of times when the boys have gone, "Hey it’s not a comedy – be serious!"
Was it tough getting fit for the part?
I think I’d had such a difficult time training on the first film, I was shocked at how unfit I was and how difficult the training was. This time I was prepared to have a terrible time again, and I decided I was going to throw myself into the training and I actually enjoyed it a lot the second time around.
What happens if you make contact with one of the others in a fight scene?
Yeah, we hit each other from time to time and you feel dreadful… but you’ve got to make contact. I think for one of the shots in one of the fights we were up to take 78 or something… and then went back another day and did another 20 takes. And that involved a kick in the ribs and a few hits, so when you’re up to take 78 and you’re getting this kick in the ribs again it’s… phew! Even with padding you’re really bruised, but you’ve got to do it or it doesn’t look right.
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