Hugo's Rockin' Role - The Daily Telegraph (04oct07)
And it has Weaving right in the spotlight as John, the frontman of legendary 90's rock band called Riflemind (also the name of the play), who has called his former bandmates together for a reunion at his stately English mansion.
Two weeks out from opening when this conversation took place, Weaving merelky shrugs when asked what John is like. Even at this late stage, he's still feeling his way into the character. Weaving attributes this to the "organic", "asking questions but not necessarily providing answers" approoach of Hoffman and Upton.
Last week Upton left rehearsal room after being peppered with questions from his director and cast. Weaving thinks Upton is worried about tainting their work with his own views.
"But, you know, it is his work, and once he actually answers a question it's usually very helpful," he chuckles.
Weaving, who in his real life prefers West African music to pop and rock, has immersed himself in biographies and rockumentaries to assist him in preparing for the role.
"The more work you do you can enrich the role of the piece, the more thought you put into itl It's always that thing of wanting jore and wanting more all the time," Weaving explains before starting another reherseal session.
"I was doing a lot of r4eading, books on the music industry, documentaries on bands. Think like [Dandy Warhols flick] Dig! and that Metallica one [Metallica: Some Kind of Monster] which is great, absolutely great for what we're trying to do."
Riflemind sees the old band back together in a bid to accomplish, well, something that isn't so simple to explain.
"They're all really stuck with their own issues and their own problems and many of these issues are the same. It's about creative block or creative nees facing all sorts of addictions, whether they be drug addictions or fame addictions or whatever, and interpersonal problems, there's masses of stuff," he says.
"It's about a rock band, but it speaks about getting older really, and how do you keep going forward when you want to recapture something that you had in your youth? That time when you're riding on an energy and you're not thinking about it, because thought gets in the way of the flow.
"This character John, his mind is mangled with thought and he wants to break throug that. Even if it means pushing everyone else and abusing everyone else to create the energy to get this thing happening."
So is he more Lennon or McCartney? Weaving shakes his head.
"No, he's himself. As one of the character says, 'John's John'. I could have gone and brought a character in and just imposed it but I'd rather discover him through what he says."
*Riflemind, October 10-December 8, Pier 4/5, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, 9250 1777 or sydneytheatre.com.au